This six-week course was developed to honour and sustain the legacy of South African media freedom and freedom of expression activist, Jeannette Minnie, who passed away in November 2016.
The 2018 Reporters Without Boarders World Press Freedom Index shows only eight African countries made the top 50 in terms of media freedom, with Ghana(23), Namibia (26) South Africa (28), Cape Verde (29) and Burkina Faso (41)rounding up the top five.
Meanwhile, four African countries are ranked among the ten worst countries for media freedom- Equatorial Guinea (171), Djibouti (173), Sudan (174) and Eritrea (179).
The course therefore aims to empower civil society actors- including union members, journalists, editors, researchers, academics and post-secondary students – to work in support of free, pluralistic and independent African media.
Media owners, government policy makers, parliamentarians and regulators working towards media sector reform will also find the course to be of significant value.
The Civil Society and African Media Policy in the Digital Age course provides participants with the knowledge necessary to work towards more African countries becoming favourable media-freedom environments by offering the following:
1. Tools for identifying core elements of the principles of freedom of expression, media freedom, and access to information.
2. An understanding of policy and practical components required for a democratic media ecosystem.
3. Knowledge regulatory and other measures that build media pluralism and diversity.
4. A grasp of mechanisms of self-regulation, co-regulation, statutory regulation and regulatory independence in democratic media ecosystems.
5. Skills to identify the practical and policy dimensions introduced by online media, online expression, and online information access.
6. Strategies for effective civil society engagement with policy and practice in support of democratic Africa media ecosystems.
The course instructors are:
• Prof. Justine Limpitlaw (Wits LINK Centre)
• Paula Fray (frayintermedia)
• Zoe Titus (Namibia Media Trust)
• Dr. Sarah Chiumbu (University of Johannesburg)
• Koketso Moeti (Amandla.mobi)
• Dr. Chris Armstrong (Wits LINK Centre)
For the Verified Certificate of Achievement, endorsed by both edX and Wits University, participants will need pay US$49.