Publications 2011

The Africa Media Barometer (AMB)
By Friedrich- Ebert-Stiftung, fesmedia Africa and Media Institute of Southern Africa
The African Media Barometer is an in-depth and comprehensive description system for national media environments on the African continent, based on home-grown criteria derived from African Protocols and Declarations like the “Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa” (2002) by the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). The instrument was jointly developed by fesmedia Africa, the Media Project of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Africa, and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) in 2004.

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Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, Swaziland, Zambia
Government Secrecy in an Information Age
By Media Institute of Southern Africa
This studies were carried out in 2011, seeks to establish levels of transparency in public institution in Southern Africa. The study in currently in its second year, and findings highlight the difficulties faced by Southern African when trying to seek, access and receive information from public bodies. The research, conducted in seven different countries in the region, revealed the lack of openness, transparency and accessibility on the part of public institutions, as well as their reluctance to disclose information proactively or respond to specific requests for public information,although there has been a significant improvement with respect to the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) across the region.

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Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique,Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Das Jahrzehnt der Informationsfreiheit in Afrika?
By Mareike Le Pelley
Informationsfreiheit ist in Verfassungen, Gesetzen undn internationalen Konventionen verankert. Die Ausübung dieses Rechts stößt jedoch in Subsahara-Afrika vielerorts an enge Grenzen – der Trend zu mehr Offenheit auf dem Papier setzt sich im politischen Alltag zumeist nicht fort.

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AMB Brief: One step forwards, two steps back
By David Lush
fesmedia Africa launches its new series of AMB Briefs with a closer look at the state of access to information in countries covered by the AMB, thereby complementing numerous freedom of information initiatives taking place across the continent. Ongoing problems in fully achieving the right to freedom of expression can be closely linked to the lack of freedom of information and the underlying culture of secrecy permeating the political culture in so many countries. Cultural change is unlikely to happen quickly and hence - as the author of this AMB Brief aptly concludes - the campaign for Access to Information has only just begun.

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Texting, Tweeting, Mobile Internet
By Tom Sarrazin
New media platforms are changing how people communicate with each
other around the world. However, there is great variation in both the kind of
communication platforms people make use of as well as in how they access these
platforms. Computer ownership and internet access are still the prerogative of
the wealthy few in wide swathes of the African continent. All the same, mobile
internet access is on the rise and if current growth rates continue, African mobile
phone penetration will reach 100 per cent by 2014.
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Watchdogs and News Hounds
By Libby Lolyd
The issue of media accountability mechanisms has been brought into the spotlight
in South Africa following the release by the ruling African National Congress(ANC)
of a discussion paper entitled ‘Media Transformation, Ownership and Diversity’ for
deliberation at its National General Council1 meeting in September 2010, and the
subsequent resolutions from the meeting.

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The Apai Declaration: Campaign for an African Platform on Access to Information
Every individual has the right to seek, access and receive information from public bodies or private bodies that perform a public function or utilize public funds. It is
a Human Right that is guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and
article 4 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa. It is also a right that is found in many constitutions throughout the continent.

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