Publications 2013

Giving the Public a Say - How news ombudsmen ensure accountability, build trust and add value to media organisations
By Karen Rothmyer
When Narasimhan Ram, then editor-in-chief of The Hindu, announced the
appointment of the paper’s first ombudsman in 2006, he said that among the
objectives of the appointment were to institutionalise self-regulation, improve
standards, and strengthen the bonds between the paper and its readers.1
Similarly, when Trevor Ncube, chairman of Alpha Media Holdings, announced
in early 2012 the appointment of the first ombudsman to serve the company’s
holdings in Zimbabwe, he said that this was another step toward “ensuring that all our publications and multimedia platforms serve readers and advertisers in a manner that is beyond reproach.”2

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Government Secrecy in an Information Age
By Media Institute of Southern Africa This study carried out between May and June 2013, seeks to establish levels of transparency in public institution in Southern Africa. The study in currently in its fourth year, and findings highlight the difficulties faced by Southern African when trying to seek, access and receive information from public bodies. The research, conducted by seven different MISA chapters in the region, again 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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Champions of Internet freedom ignore online ethics at their own peril
By Mareike Le Pelley Advocates of Internet freedom need to develop more responses to cybercrime and online ethics to make sure that real concerns are not exploited by repressive governments to impose Internet controls and other measures, which violate the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of information.

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Access to information: Examining progress since APAI Declaration
By APAI Secretariat
In order to further the ambitions of the APAI working group, in 2013 we undertook research – based upon the expertise and experience of our working group on access to information (ATI) issues in the region – which set out to provide a basic assessment on the state of access to information on the continent as a general reflection on the environment since the passage of the APAI Declaration on 19 September 2011. In order to do this, we created a survey based upon the APAI Declaration as a form of standard for assessing progress in the different countries.

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Access to information: Examining progress in infographics
By APAI Secretariat
In order to further the ambitions of the APAI working group, in 2013 we undertook research – based upon the expertise and experience of our working group on access to information (ATI) issues in the region – which set out to provide a basic assessment on the state of access to information on the continent as a general reflection on the environment since the passage of the APAI Declaration on 19 September 2011.

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PARTICIPATION, EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE - KEY ASPECTS IN PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY BROADCASTING
Compiled from conference report and edited by Mareike Le Pelley
By developing local content, community broadcasters ought to emphasise what makes them unique and sets them apart from state/ public and commercial media. Community participation at all levels (e.g. programming, production, management, fund-raising) as well as a transparent and accountable way of running community stations enables communities to identify with their station. Community broadcasters can give a voice to marginalised members of society, highlight their needs and interests and thereby not only contribute to the diversity of the media in a country but also to improving the lives of community members and socio-economic development.
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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.

Download Country reports below (PDF):

Ghana, Republic of Congo , Senegal, South Africa, TogoZambia