Regions: Africa

Madagascar has been suffering from an unresolved political crisis since 2009 which has resulted in declining economic and human rights indicators and a widening communications gap between the Malagasy population and its leaders. With no mechanisms to ask for information, or hold their leaders to account, the population remains marginalised and disenfranchised from the democratic process with negative impacts on local governance. In the rural south in particular, where almost three quarters of the population are not literate, poorly educated and isolated, radio is the only source of...

A research summary report of the African Media Development Initiative (AMDI)14, indicates that literacy rates for urban areas of Tanzania average 35.4% and that the country has some of the lowest rates of access to Television and Newspaper based media across sub-Saharan Africa, with only 34% watching TV and 31% reading a newspaper at least once a week. The AMDI report also highlights low levels of professional, ethical, management and technical standards among media practitioners, which is attributed to: insufficient or poor-quality training institutions; rapid expansion of media outlets (...

 Journalism training in Malawi has progressed in leaps and bounce since the country’s return to a multiparty system of government. Historically, the media training institutions have approached journalism training from a traditional perspective in keeping with the way journalism has been practiced in the country and the region. In terms of curriculum standards, each institution pursues its own. While this is generally a norm in most training institutions in the world, including Malawi, it is preferable to have certain bench marks for all institutions. But media in Malawi is responding to...

In Zimbabwe, journalists take professional risks in the process of collecting and disseminating news and information. The risks become higher when the country is experiencing conflict, journalists become a target. As one media analyst observed, conflict and post-conflict areas in Africa are very dangerous for journalists. Safety issues rank high and journalists have fallen into trouble because of the existence of restrictive media laws. In some instances, journalists have themselves been reckless by not fully familiarising themselves on the full implications of existing laws. The Zimbabwe...

Harare Polytechnic’s School of Journalism and Media Studies is the oldest journalism and media training institution in Zimbabwe. It trains print and broadcast journalists for the country’s public broadcaster as well as for the print media houses. The training which is a two-year full-time National Diploma is practically-based in line with market demands. Many graduates from the institution are readily absorbed by media houses in the region, and plans are at an advanced stage for Harare Polytechnic to introduce a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mass Communication.
 
In spite...

Journalists and media practitioners in Southern Africa face relatively similar regulatory and legislative challenges, exposing them to a wide range of risks in their line of duty. Among the regulatory and legislative challenges are repressive media laws, restrictive policies, and arbitrary arrests of journalists and denial of access to information, among others. For example, while in Zimbabwe journalists are subjected to a rigorous registration process and are denied access to information considered privy to the state through the Access to Information Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),...

Although the Djiboutian government includes in its constitution under Article 15 clear guarantees to freedom of expression and media freedom and has also ratified a number of relevant regional and international human rights instruments, it maintains a number of laws that are incoherent to these acceptable international human rights standards which severely restrict media freedom.

The Djiboutian human rights record was reviewed under the aegis of Human Rights Council’s first cycle of Universal Periodic Review on 2 February 2009. While the state delegation highlighted some of the...

Despite the lack of federal government in Somalia for the past 20 years, there is a vibrant media landscape throughout the country. Security and lack of infrastructure has made it nearly impossible to gauge the exact number of broadcasters, radio stations, newspapers and websites that operate within Somalia and beyond its borders to diaspora populations, but estimates put numbers of media outlets in Mogadishu at 12 radio stations, 15 newspapers, several television stations and many individually-owned online news blogs. In spite of the encouraging figures, however, many media outlets are...

In South Sudan the impact of long years of conflict and war are still very evident in almost all aspects of society, and enormous efforts are currently underway to ensure peace and security, reconstruction and development. However, development processes will be difficult without the establishment of a free media in order to create an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence and to institutionalize a culture of democracy in the country. There has been limited investment in the development of the media sector in the country, and recent assessments show how the lack of access to objective...

The media in Uganda has grown over the last three decades mainly because of liberalization of the sector which permitted individual ownership. This pattern implies an increase in the number of electronic and print media houses that widely recruited personnel to run these entities. Currently there are over 240 licensed radio stations in Uganda, although this figure is higher if the other 40 unlicensed are taken into account. Televisions currently operating number over twenty and newspapers stand at thirty. The context appears pluralistic given the statistics but this does not mean there are...

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