IPDC Project implementation status: Ongoing

Although major advances have been made in increasing media diversity and pluralism in Eastern Africa, some countries in the region continue to be subject to repressive media laws and policies curtailing media freedom. Such laws and policies create a restrictive environment for media practitioners, and impinge media development in the long term. Therefore a progressive campaign for just and democratic media laws is necessary if Eastern Africa is to make a successful transition to democracy. This project will assist in developing a network of media practitioners campaigning for media law...

The Malian media sector has undergone significant liberalization and development following the advent of democracy in 1991, with the country boasting some 241 private radio stations in 2010, according to a survey conducted by the media union, URTEL. However in spite of this apparently vibrant media environment, radio coverage is unevenly distributed across the country, with some communities continuing to be deprived of their right to access media and information sources. One such example is the rural commune of Sirakoro, which currently has no local radio, and only sporadic reception of...

Despite being accounted for within its Constitution, there is an overall need to address the issues of freedom of expression and freedom of information in Tanzania today. This is of particular concern among the rural population whom, as a result of low literacy levels, are more prone to fall victim to the commercial interests of the majority of media owners. More needs to be done to cater to the information needs of the Tanzanian population, particularly in terms of providing information on social and political matters. Tanzania's Kahama District is one such example of an area where access...

The reform of Tanzania's economic and political systems has had a major effect on its media industry, with massive private investment resulting in a proliferation of media outlets and the emergence of new media. The consequential increase in demand for journalists led to an upsurge in the establishment of media training institutions offering certificates and diplomas. Unfortunately however, the majority of these establishments did not adhere to the required standards of the National Accreditation Council for Technical Education (NACTE). In 2006, the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) set...

Under Malawi's new Republican Constitution, freedom of expression is guaranteed by law, therefore granting its media the chance to operate in a free environment. By contrast, on the topic of freedom of access to information, work remains to be done. The National Media Institute of Malawi (NAMISA) has been at the forefront of campaigns for the enactment of an Access to Information Bill. Thus far, this work has been without positive results with one of the major obstacles being a common misconception on the part of local politicians and members of the public that access to information is...

Media in Egypt occupy a highly influential position within the Arab world, and on a superficial level Egyptian journalists enjoy the right to exercise press freedom, as guaranteed within its Constitution. The reality under the governance of Hosni Mubarak however, saw the press regularly subject to restrictive laws which violated international press freedom standards. In Tunisia too, both the print press and broadcasting media were under tight government control, with President Ben Ali's authorities controlling access to news sources and ensuring online censorship. The recent popular...

As one of Africa's potential centres of excellence in journalism education, the Media Technology department at the Polytechnic of Namibia constantly seeks to build its capacity to offer high quality journalism education to aspiring and working journalists, particularly with regard to the fields of Gender in the Media, and Journalism and Communication Technology. At present however, its Honours degree in Journalism and Communication Technology is lacking in terms of research in the area of Journalism and Media, and does not comply with UNESCO's Model Curricula in Journalism Education. This...

Senegal enjoys media diversity in both the broadcasting and print-media sectors, with the 1990s seeing an end to state domination and the emergence of private and community audiovisual media. At present, more than 58 community radios exist within the country, providing communities with the means to access information produced by local people, which is therefore tailored to the needs of a local audience. In spite of occupying this important role however, lack of training among personnel and insufficient financial resources to maintain and replace equipment pose a worrying threat to the...

The Kingdom of Tonga is one of the few remaining monarchies in the world. The country is currently undergoing a period of radical change in the switch from a constitutional monarchy to a parliamentary system with elected representatives. This will greatly affect the way in which the Tongan society is governed, and media can play an important role in helping society to navigate through this crucial transition period. It is therefore essential to train media staff in order to facilitate this supportive role. The Tongan Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) is the national broadcaster in the Kingdom...

Since the early 90s, Gabon's media landscape has undergone dramatic development, with freedom of expression being recognized and guaranteed by law, resulting in media pluralism and diversity. Unfortunately however, there has been a lack of attention awarded to the implementation of structures for the training of professionals in communication/media, with the majority of communication professionals being forced to train either on the job or abroad. Furthermore, those individuals who do undertake training are often attracted by the more favourable conditions of employment within the...

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