Press freedom – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ Tue, 10 May 2022 22:04:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://guwiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/guw-150x150.png Press freedom – GUWIV http://guwiv.com/ 32 32 world press freedom day https://guwiv.com/world-press-freedom-day/ Tue, 10 May 2022 20:05:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/world-press-freedom-day/ The United Nations celebrated World Press Freedom Day on May 3. The organizers organized a world conference on the subject in Uruguay last week. This year’s theme for World Press Freedom Day was “Journalism Under Siege by the Digital”. Among other things, the theme refers to the impact of the digital age on freedom of […]]]>

The United Nations celebrated World Press Freedom Day on May 3. The organizers organized a world conference on the subject in Uruguay last week.

This year’s theme for World Press Freedom Day was “Journalism Under Siege by the Digital”. Among other things, the theme refers to the impact of the digital age on freedom of expression, the safety of journalists and access to information.

The United Nations General Assembly first proclaimed World Press Freedom Day in December 1993. The UN describes it as an occasion to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom around the world; defend the media against attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Shop Talk is a weekly roundtable on journalism issues. This week’s show featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises student editors at the Western Courier, students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter. of the National Association of Black Journalists. ; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

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Press Freedom Day: Academics urge inclusion of trauma literacy in journalism curricula | The Guardian Nigeria News https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-day-academics-urge-inclusion-of-trauma-literacy-in-journalism-curricula-the-guardian-nigeria-news/ Tue, 10 May 2022 02:46:00 +0000 https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-day-academics-urge-inclusion-of-trauma-literacy-in-journalism-curricula-the-guardian-nigeria-news/ Following the physical, psychological, moral and emotional injuries suffered by journalists due to exposure to traumatic events during their careers, communication specialists unanimously underlined the need to include knowledge of trauma in the programs of journalism. The scholars spoke at a panel discussion on “Integrating Traumatic Literacy into Journalism Education in Africa: The Roadmap,” held […]]]>

Following the physical, psychological, moral and emotional injuries suffered by journalists due to exposure to traumatic events during their careers, communication specialists unanimously underlined the need to include knowledge of trauma in the programs of journalism.

The scholars spoke at a panel discussion on “Integrating Traumatic Literacy into Journalism Education in Africa: The Roadmap,” held both virtually and live at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, last week in commemoration of this year’s press freedom. Day.

The event was organized by the Journalism Education and Trauma Research Group’s Sub-Saharan Africa Research Center (JETREG).
Workshop participants emphasized that journalism educators have a vital role to play in providing safe spaces for journalists to talk about work-related trauma and in preparing young journalists to be aware of the issue and to provide coping mechanisms.

They quoted the South African photographer, Kevin Carter, who during the war in Sudan took the photo of a girl on the ground due to hunger, while a vulture prowled on the ground nearby.

In 1994, the image won him the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Film Photography, but later committed suicide. Carter’s suicide note reads: “I am haunted by vivid memories of murder and corpses, anger and pain…starving or injured children, trigger-happy lunatics, often policemen, killer executioners.”

In his keynote address, Professor Ola Ogunyemi of the University of Lincoln, UK, observed that there is a dearth of scientific literature on how to effectively teach trauma-informed literacy and prepare students acquire the skills and coping mechanisms to psychological and emotional challenges. during their career.

With over 250 members, he said JETREG was created at the University of Lincoln with the primary goal of bringing trauma literacy into the curriculum.

He revealed, “We have submitted a concept note to UMESCO on trauma journalism in the Global South. Regional research centers organize seminars and symposia on the inclusion of trauma literacy in their region.

In the long term, he added that JETREG is working on a grant proposal to develop learning tools to promote trauma awareness among journalism students while incorporating theater arts, simulation and virtual reality. He said, “We also offer innovative teaching strategies.”

Other goals, he explained, include sharing ideas and learning from journalism educators’ trauma awareness inquiry and attitudes to the inclusion of resilience training in the curriculum. teaching journalism, sharing insights and learning from previous studies on journalism and trauma – where there is evidence of trauma and why, using the insights to design a trauma literacy/resilience training module in journalism education; provide opportunities through research seminars, symposia and conferences to discuss and consider options and solutions that promote resilience training in journalism education; connect a community of journalism educators, practicing journalists and media organizations, both nationally and internationally, who can help and support each other to build the resilience of journalists.

The executive director of the International Press Center (IPC), Lanre Arogundade, said journalists needed to be trained in trauma management and needed to be supported. He said it was necessary to report the face of traumatized journalists, such as psychological and emotional.

He revealed that IPC would soon be releasing two documentaries highlighting interviews with journalists and other media professionals who suffered brutal press freedom violations during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown and #ENDSARS protests.

He revealed that the public presentation of the documentaries would be followed by a panel discussion on the protection of journalists during crises or national emergencies.

He said panelists and attendees would include media professionals, media organizations, professional media bodies and associations, press freedom organizations, media and digital rights organizations, security organs, government officials, lawyers, justice officials, human rights activists and human rights organizations.

From her point of view, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB) Abeokuta, Professor Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale, observed that journalists are considered as if they were not from this world and that they are resilient to the stressors that come their way.

She argued that trauma awareness and citizen journalism should also be considered because there are so many unfiltered stories all around.

She suggested that trauma awareness be made compulsory in schools, pointing out that support groups that could help if journalists found themselves in an unpleasant situation could be set up. She also said journalists need to open up and learn to talk to each other about traumatic issues.

She suggested that trauma-informed skills, trauma-reactive skills and trauma-sensitive skills could be included in innovative teaching and learning materials.

Professor of Mass Communication, Lagos State University (LASU), Lai Oso, categorized trauma as physical, structural and cultural. He said trauma could be physical like rape, structural like poverty and cultural like gender discrimination.

He said that when journalists report trauma, it is necessary to ask questions about the consequences of what is being reported. He said news is an event but trauma is a process. He said an unpaid journalist could be traumatic and lose his humanity.
He expressed concern about the way some television journalists subject their interviewees to traumatic experiences through the questions they ask. He advised journalists not to play the role of judge; rather, they should be sensitive to the feelings of others. He also said employment after retirement should be discussed.

Vanguard Newspapers Managing Director/Editor Gbenga Adefaye also agreed that there is a need to teach trauma literacy in schools. He shared his experience when he worked with Professor Tonie Iredia at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Benin in the 80s.

Adefaye said he was asked to cover the execution of armed robbers in an army barracks and has not yet forgotten such a traumatic experience. He added that journalists need additional skills to meet the demands of today’s job.

Adefaye, who is also the provost of the NIJ, noted that there was a need to nurture journalists who are content producers and would start their own news business after leaving school instead of looking for a job.

The Executive Secretary of the Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), Dr Yemisi Bamgbose also agreed on the need to develop a program on burnout for journalists.

While identifying the challenges faced by media professionals including meager pay, workload, deadlines, ownership interference and discrimination, Bamgbose noted that journalism is one of the most stressful.

The President of the International Journalists Forum for Migration (JIFORM), Dr. Ajibola Abayomi, also stressed the need to improve the welfare and job security of journalists. He said there was a need to engage practicing journalists in the conversation about trauma literacy. He added that JIFROM looks forward to working with the NIJ and NUJ on trauma literacy.

He revealed that JIFORM conducts advocacy against irregular migration, human trafficking and crises leading to internal displacement of citizens around the world.

The event was moderated by Associate Professor, Dele Odunlami, of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye Ogun State and former President of Union of Journalists of Nigeria (NUJ), Lagos Chapter, Dr. Qasim Akinreti.

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Colloquium on Freedom of the Press – Stabroek News https://guwiv.com/colloquium-on-freedom-of-the-press-stabroek-news/ Mon, 09 May 2022 06:01:43 +0000 https://guwiv.com/colloquium-on-freedom-of-the-press-stabroek-news/ What has been dubbed the 2022 World Press Freedom Day National Conference and Symposium has at least drawn public attention to what is needed for the media to operate without interference and hold to account to decision makers. The government spared no effort over the two days and boasted during the proceedings that it was […]]]>

What has been dubbed the 2022 World Press Freedom Day National Conference and Symposium has at least drawn public attention to what is needed for the media to operate without interference and hold to account to decision makers.

The government spared no effort over the two days and boasted during the proceedings that it was the largest such conference ever held here. Maybe it was, but there was a bit of confusion in the messages and the goals. Refreshingly, secondary school children were invited for both days and the government is to be commended for this initiative. However, the majority of participants appeared to be employees of ministries, state agencies, departments and regions and their role – purely informative – is entirely different from that of the free and independent media. Nevertheless, it would have been beneficial for them to have listened to the concerns raised by the free and independent media and in particular on their monitoring function.

The theme of the symposium itself was dubious: “Journalism Under Surveillance – Partnerships in Communication for Development -C4D” and may have inspired a direct question from the President of the Guyanese Press Association, Nazima Raghubir, to the President Ali to find out if his government was in possession of spyware and/or planned to acquire it and use it on journalists in particular. The President was adamant in his response: “This government has no intention – it is not in [contemplation] in my mind to move in any direction to have spyware or whatever to spy on anyone. I’m not even [imagining] something like that. So take it, get it out of your imagination now”.

This is not a trivial matter as the Pegasus spyware designed by the Israeli cyber arms company, NSO Group, has been used in various parts of the world for malicious purposes. Moreover, there are unanswered questions for the PPP/C under the Jagdeo administration as to exactly how convicted drug trafficker Roger Khan was able to acquire sophisticated spy equipment to continue his campaign against ‘criminals’. and the role of the government of the day in the debacle.

The other pillar of the theme “Partnerships in Communication for Development – ​​C4D”, a concept very much promoted historically by the United Nations system, has the unfortunate connotation of all the media orchestrated towards a great national project. The partnership that is really needed for press freedom to thrive is government transparency and the institutional means to achieve it.

At a basic level, what the press in this country demands is that the government be fully transparent and accountable. President Ali claimed that his government was the most accessible to the media. There’s not much to brag about with a ruling party that has always been against openness and the media. It is unacceptable that, as the second anniversary of his accession to the presidency approaches, President Ali should hold regular press conferences. These should ideally take place once a month. Openness and accommodation of the media cannot be defined by journalists blocking the president on the sidelines of official events and certainly not by the snobbery that occurred during the visit of the Brazilian president on Friday.

Second, there should be regular briefings on Cabinet decisions and the opportunity for the media to ask questions about them. This should, however, be stripped of the Luncheonesque circumlocution that was a hallmark of the Jagdeo administration. There is also the related issue of Vice President Jagdeo’s press conferences. These cannot be considered a substitute for presidential briefings as only President Ali can speak definitively on behalf of the government.

President Ali’s government must also put in place a functional access to information architecture and auxiliary bodies such as the Integrity Commission, which plays a crucial role in the fight against corruption among public officials, but which continues to be inexplicably held in abeyance.

Perhaps the most powerful signal sent to the government regarding the importance of press freedom and the role of independent journalists came in the joint statement by envoys from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union, the same conclave that played a vital role in maintaining democratic elections here in 2020.

Their statement, released under the more appropriate international global press freedom theme of “Digital Siege Journalism,” made the compelling point that “press attention to accountability has never been greater in Guyana.” with a historically large stream of revenue flowing into government coffers and regularly reported reporting. intends to use these resources for a development program that cuts across all regions and races. There is also a broader principle at play that strong democracies require the free flow of information in the public marketplace of opinions and ideas. As inconvenient as criticism may be for government officials and other leaders, it is part and parcel of the democratic cacophony.”

The government has much to consider in this statement, particularly in the context of the booming oil and gas sector and the inscrutability of decision-making in areas such as environmental permits for ExxonMobil’s operations, marketing Guyana crude oil and onshore gas project. to an energy program that would be the largest public sector project in the country’s history and a project fraught with serious risks and pitfalls.

On World Press Freedom Day, the International Press Institute (IPI) has offered 10 recommendations on what democratic governments should do to better protect press freedom at home and around the world. world. Some of them can be taken over by the government here.

Number six on the IPI list is: Show zero tolerance for attacks on the press.

“Attacks on journalists and media workers are the most serious form of censorship – and an attack on democracy itself. Democratic governments should therefore demonstrate their commitment to protecting the work of the press by vigorously defending journalists against verbal harassment, online and offline, and against physical threats, assaults and harm. This includes ensuring that public authorities thoroughly and promptly investigate all attacks on journalists, in accordance with international commitments on the safety of journalists. Democratic governments should also demonstrate their commitment to ensuring the safety of journalists and media workers by establishing national mechanisms to advance journalist safety, such as the PersVeilig (Press Safe) mechanism adopted by the Netherlands”.

Number 10 on the IPI list is particularly relevant: Creating an environment conducive to press freedom.

“Free and pluralistic media are an essential element of democratic societies. Democracies must take concrete steps to create an enabling environment for the development of pluralistic, independent and sustainable media ecosystems.

* “Building trust. Democratic governments must commit to building trust in the media and the critical role that watchdog journalism plays in holding the powerful to account and making our democracies stronger. Political elites and elected officials must refrain from verbal attacks on the press, as such rhetoric sows distrust of the media and exposes journalists to the risk of harassment and physical violence.

* “Prevent media capture. Democracies must redouble their efforts to ensure fair market conditions that enable the development of diverse and pluralistic media markets and protect independent media from political influence. This includes enacting and enforcing strict rules on ownership and competition to prevent market monopolies, guard against state takeover and ensure diversity of news and information.

* “Support independent journalism as a public good, including through public funding of independent journalism – including local journalism – channeled through independent mechanisms”.

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Press freedom around the world: Meet Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, who received the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-around-the-world-meet-maria-ressa-and-dmitry-muratov-who-received-the-2021-nobel-peace-prize/ Sun, 08 May 2022 04:20:58 +0000 https://guwiv.com/press-freedom-around-the-world-meet-maria-ressa-and-dmitry-muratov-who-received-the-2021-nobel-peace-prize/ New Delhi | Sugandha Jha: The press is considered the fourth pillar of democracy and the media must report the facts and control everything. Thus, in order to encourage and honor journalists, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on behalf of the estate of Alfred Nobel. In October 2021, Filipino […]]]>

New Delhi | Sugandha Jha: The press is considered the fourth pillar of democracy and the media must report the facts and control everything. Thus, in order to encourage and honor journalists, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on behalf of the estate of Alfred Nobel. In October 2021, Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for their courageous fight for freedom of expression in the face of authoritarian governments.

Interestingly, Ressa faces charges that could result in around 100 years in prison. She was even banned from attending the Nobel Prize ceremony due to travel restrictions related to lawsuits filed against her in the Philippines. She was later granted permission to attend the ceremony earlier this month by the Philippines Court of Appeals, which ruled she was not at risk of fleeing. On the other hand, Muratov is described as one of the most prominent defenders of freedom of expression in Russia today.

Here’s everything you need to know about them:

Why did they win the Nobel Peace Prize?

The Nobel committee said it recognized both men for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace.”

The committee said it wanted to highlight the plight of journalists around the world who operate in an increasingly repressive environment.

“This prize will not solve the problems facing journalists and freedom of expression,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the committee, said at a press conference.

“But it will help shine a light on the importance of the work of journalists and how dangerous it is not just in places facing war and conflict, but all over the world,” she added.

Highlights of their work

Ressa is the co-founder of investigative digital media company Rappler, which focused on the brutal drug war waged by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. She was at the forefront of documenting Duterte’s war on drugs, which according to the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 Filipinos, including some 2,500 killed. by the police. Ressa has also been recognized for her work documenting how social media has been used to spread misinformation and harass political opponents.

Meanwhile, Muratov is the co-founder and editor of Novaya Gazeta, an independent newspaper that holds power accountable in President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly authoritarian Russia. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Novaya Gazeta is today the only truly critical newspaper with national influence in Russia.

“Despite the Kremlin’s success in marginalizing independent reporting, Novaya Gazeta continues to wield considerable influence with its unique and uncompromising editorial line,” added CPJ.

Muratov’s journalists were harassed and threatened, and six of them were murdered, including Igor Domnikov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaya, Anastasia Baburova, Stanislav Markelov and Natalya Estemirova. After winning, he told Russia’s Interfax news agency that he would donate his prize money to the treatment of children with spinal muscular atrophy, while investing it in journalism. He also paid tribute to the newspaper’s journalists who were killed.

“This award is for our deceased colleagues, friends and journalists of this same newspaper,” he said.

Previous beneficiaries

In 2020, the prize was awarded to the United Nations World Food Program for its efforts to fight hunger and food insecurity in the world. Past honorees include survivors of the Taliban attack and women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai, anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and four former US presidents: Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

Posted by:
Aalok Sensharma

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It is unfair to blame the press freedom report solely on the government – Affail Money https://guwiv.com/it-is-unfair-to-blame-the-press-freedom-report-solely-on-the-government-affail-money/ Sat, 07 May 2022 19:10:24 +0000 https://guwiv.com/it-is-unfair-to-blame-the-press-freedom-report-solely-on-the-government-affail-money/ The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney, said the country’s performance in the 2022 Press Freedom Index should not be entirely blamed on the ruling government. According to him, the report produced by Reporters Without Borders nowhere suggests that the government should take all the blame. He argued in an interview […]]]>

The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney, said the country’s performance in the 2022 Press Freedom Index should not be entirely blamed on the ruling government.

According to him, the report produced by Reporters Without Borders nowhere suggests that the government should take all the blame.

He argued in an interview on Newsfile that most media managers and institutions are responsible for the current trend of media freedom in the country.

“In fact, the government is high on the list of culprits due to the actions and inactions of state and non-state actors; for example, national security officers, they work directly under the authority of a minister who is a government official; therefore, they should take the blame.

“But when it comes to the issue of bad pay, we have a media space that is knitted by private institutions, and a lot of them pay their workers fixed salaries and that’s not the government’s doing. It doesn’t will not be fair to blame the government for this situation, ”he challenged on Saturday May 7.

Affail Monney argued that the report, while not so positive, does not spell doom for Ghana.

He said the current situation does not put the country in a way that it cannot regain its past glory in press freedom.

“There is a direct relationship between the terms of service and journalistic productions. So if a lot of our people are so compromised, it’s because they don’t get paid well. In some of the worst scenarios journalists don’t get paid at all and as the saying goes they have to survive and the survival instinct pushes some of them to criminal heights and that’s something we have to examine.

“We can bounce back but that calls for collective action and one of the actions outlined in the Minister of Information’s response is the education of state and non-state actors. Some of these actions are rooted in ignorance of the work of journalists.

“When you attack a single journalist, you are not only attacking all journalists, you are attacking the very soul of this country, which is democracy. So in many cases our soul has bled profusely from such attacks,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) condemned parts of the 2022 World Press Freedom Index which called the Akufo-Addo administration “intolerant of criticism from citizens and the media”.

The Party has argued that in contrast, the media under the NPP is the freest ever.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, NPP communications director Yaw Boaben Asamoa noted that the party’s contribution to media growth under the Fourth Republic is quite exceptional.

“The NPP believes that Ghana’s media is the freest ever and its contribution to media growth is unparalleled in the Fourth Republic.

“In sum, the NPP has decriminalized speech, supported infrastructure and training with the International Press Center and support funds, and improved spectrum allocations and regulatory oversight,” he said.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its 2022 Press Freedom Index noted that journalists in Ghana have in recent years come under “increasing pressure” from the government in carrying out their duties.

According to the report, this has led journalists in the country to “increasingly resort to self-censorship” in order to protect their jobs and safety.

The report also lamented the safety of journalists in recent years.

But the NPP, in its press conference, questioned the validity and authenticity of such RSF claims.

“Recent reports both internal and external, hyperbolically declaiming so-called media freedom laws in Ghana paint and reproduce a picture of systematic harassment against freedom of expression. But is this really the case and do mainstream media and civil society organizations experience this in their daily lives and activities?

“Furthermore, is freedom of expression unlimited and can it be used maliciously as an instrument for promoting instability? These are key questions, to which objective answers can mitigate despicable damage to our hard-earned political stability and potential growth in the name of regime change,” he said.

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Akufo-Addo’s body language to freedom of the press disturbing – Manasseh Azure https://guwiv.com/akufo-addos-body-language-to-freedom-of-the-press-disturbing-manasseh-azure/ Sat, 07 May 2022 10:50:11 +0000 https://guwiv.com/akufo-addos-body-language-to-freedom-of-the-press-disturbing-manasseh-azure/ Award-winning investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni says President Akufo-Addo and his government’s nonchalant attitude towards press freedom in the country is very worrying. He said various state actors close to the presidency have engaged in attacks on journalists in recent years. Yet none received the proper attention and sanction from the president. Citing the arrest […]]]>

Award-winning investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni says President Akufo-Addo and his government’s nonchalant attitude towards press freedom in the country is very worrying.

He said various state actors close to the presidency have engaged in attacks on journalists in recent years. Yet none received the proper attention and sanction from the president.

Citing the arrest of Mensah Thompson of ASEPA, Caleb Kudah of Citi TV and Bobie Ansah of Accra FM, among others, he expressed extreme disappointment at the continued threats and murder of media workers.

Basing his judgment on Ghana’s performance in the World Press Freedom Index, Mr Azure said the president’s body language gave his party supporters some incentive to continue attacking journalists.

“Last year, for example, if you read the press release from the Minister of Information, they mentioned other countries that also performed poorly compared to their previous rankings.

“Now we have Ahmed Suale who was assassinated after being openly threatened by a senior ruling party politician and we have asked the president of this country to go to the bar conference in Takoradi and say that in the As much as the death was unfortunate, it was just as unfortunate for people to say his murder was related to freedom of the press.

“When the president acts like that, supporters start thinking we can do what we need to do or want to do to journalists,” he said.

In the latest Press Freedom Index, Ghana fell 30 places from -30th in 2021 to 60th in 2022, the lowest in 17 years since ranking 66th in 2005.

The report comes from recent news that the Ghanaian government has cracked down on dissent and allegations of an upsurge in press freedom violations.

The report released to commemorate International Press Freedom Day scored Ghana 67.43, placing Ghana 60th on the index which monitors 180 countries.

Ghana recorded a drop in its indicative points of 78.67% to 67.43 from last year.

According to Manassé, “the difference is clearer than day and night” because “not only have we seen an increase in attacks but we are looking at the severity and also the actors involved”.

“It was very common to threaten someone, and it would be taken lightly, but if your fellow investigative journalist is put on TV and threatened, and later that person is killed, you are going to treat the threats seriously and differently.

“Also, we are starting to see state actors getting involved; national security, and we know that national security in Ghana is like an extension of the government or the ruling party. So we have seen what national security has done to the journalist in modern Ghana – to this day; we have not been informed of the offense committed by this journalist, other than to know that he had published something unpleasant about the Minister of National Security at the time.

NPP condemns parts of Press Freedom Index

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) condemned parts of the 2022 World Press Freedom Index, which called the Akufo-Addo administration “intolerant of criticism from citizens and the media”.

The Party has argued that in contrast, the media under the NPP is the freest ever.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the party’s communications director, Yaw Boaben Asamoa, noted that the party’s contribution to the rise of the media under the Fourth Republic is rather exceptional.

“The NPP believes that Ghana’s media is the freest ever and its contribution to media growth is unparalleled in the Fourth Republic.

“In sum, the NPP has decriminalized speech, supporting infrastructure and training with the International Press Center and support funds and improving spectrum allocations and regulatory oversight,” he said.

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Freedom of the student press around the world https://guwiv.com/freedom-of-the-student-press-around-the-world/ Fri, 06 May 2022 20:24:08 +0000 https://guwiv.com/freedom-of-the-student-press-around-the-world/ For World Press Freedom Day, the Student Press Law Center and PEN America co-sponsored a panel discussion at the UNESCO World Conference in Ponte del Este, Uruguay, and broadcast on Zoom around the world. SPLC Board Member Pratika Katiyar joined a panel of student journalists and educators from around the world to discuss the role […]]]>

For World Press Freedom Day, the Student Press Law Center and PEN America co-sponsored a panel discussion at the UNESCO World Conference in Ponte del Este, Uruguay, and broadcast on Zoom around the world. SPLC Board Member Pratika Katiyar joined a panel of student journalists and educators from around the world to discuss the role of student journalists, which can be fragile, unique and powerful.

The panel was moderated by Myriah Martin, PEN America Free Expression Programs Fellow in the United States. The panelists were:

  • Sisanda Nkoala — Lecturer in the Department of Media, Faculty of Computing and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Megana Guntur — Participant, UNESCO World Press Freedom Day, Youth Newsroom, Student, St. Ann’s College
  • Pratika Katiyar — Former editor and student co-chair of the board of directors of tjTODAY and the Student Press Law Center

The role of student journalists in professional journalism

The session began with a discussion on the role that student journalists play within the media ecosystem.

“Student journalists in the United States have a unique role – they fill gaps in information desert communities,” Katiyar said.

Student journalists in other parts of the world, such as South Africa “are not a recognized group. They don’t have press cards and they don’t have access to certain spaces,” Nkoala said.

In some cases, student journalists must work for a professional media outlet to gain recognition or gain professional experience, and these opportunities are usually not available until after graduation.

Whether student media is recognized by outside groups or not, panelists agreed that student journalists are important. Nkoala cited student media coverage of nationwide “Fees Must Come Down” protests to decolonize higher education in South Africa, as an example of the importance of student journalists.

“[They were] at the forefront, articulating student demands and demands. It was a watershed moment,” Nkoala said.

Restrictions that Prohibit or Infringe on Students’ Ability to Tell Stories

Each panelist spoke about the legal and societal restrictions placed on student journalists and how they lead to self-censorship.

Guntur pointed out that “[In India, we] they are told to have some discretion when dealing with something related to a specific person or community. “When a bunch of people come up and say this [article] hurts us, the first step is to ban the text in question, [regardless] of an investigation. »

Nkoala said that in South Africa there is no law allowing schools to censor student journalists, but students are subject to prior review of their work or risk expulsion for work that criticizes the institution.

“[My] students submit their work via a YouTube channel, and because I have certain obligations to the institution, I encourage students to give me an unlisted link and not post it until I verify it .

Nkoala acknowledges that this can cause his students to censor themselves by “holding back and not attacking [certain] stories.” but stories like criticizing the institution can get students expelled.

Katiyar pointed out that while the United States is protected by the First Amendment, the Supreme Court’s 1988 decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier limits the freedom of the student press and gives school administrators broad powers to censor student media.

To counter this decision, “state legislatures have the ability to inculcate protections for student journalists [through] New voice legislation,” Katiyar said. Katiyar acknowledges that because only 15 states have new voice laws, many students are unprotected and “choose not to cover important issues in [their] communities”. Even where students have legal protections, they “struggle with what they can and cannot cover due to societal norms.”

Recommendations to student journalists under threat

Guntur says the first step to ensuring the safety of student journalists in India is to “educate the general public about what it is to be a student journalist”. It is important that “the public understands that the purpose of a journalist is to bring visibility to issues and spread the truth”.

“Journalists shouldn’t be penalized for reporting the truth…it’s their job,” she said.

Katiyar added that students should “know [their] rights, especially when it comes to covering protests. She encouraged students to use their voices to uncover stories and “make sure their stories are bulletproof.” And recommends that students receive training in media literacy. “Journalism is everywhere now, it’s on Twitter, it’s on Instagram, and having a media literacy will help students.” She also talked about nationwide support “which means continuing with New Voices legislation so that students in every state are protected, and having support in place like the Student Press Law Center that offers legal aid. free to student journalists”.

Nkoala pointed to some threats that students face because of their race and gender, such as “dominant sexist views and the way female journalists are treated when they leave for their internships.” She said “it’s not uncommon for a student to report that they’ve been sexually harassed and often they do so retrospectively – after graduating.” Nkoala also acknowledged the lack of professional training students receive, as they are not exposed to high-level reporting until their final year of school. Despite their lack of training, students are often expected to work on high-level stories.

“Newsrooms in South Africa are struggling financially, due to lack of investment. As a result, interns are brought in to do senior reporting work, and they cover stories that are completely out of their depth, but they have to deliver at the end of the day,” Nkoala said. To help protect students, she recommends creating a national agency to represent student voice. “Such a body would be able to articulate issues both within the university and within the journalism sector,” Nkoala said.

Final Words: Student Journalism is Vitally Important

Nkoala concluded the session by encouraging students to “live your role as a student journalist – you have a niche in an industry that working journalists don’t. You have a perspective that is new – step into it. Nkoala ended by telling the students to “be brave enough to make mistakes.”

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Journalists demonstrate to demand press freedom in Tunisia https://guwiv.com/journalists-demonstrate-to-demand-press-freedom-in-tunisia/ Thu, 05 May 2022 18:14:25 +0000 https://guwiv.com/journalists-demonstrate-to-demand-press-freedom-in-tunisia/ Last update: 11 hours ago Tunisian journalists protested on Thursday against what they say has been increasing repression and intimidation against the press since President Kais Saied took power last year. The protest was organized by the national journalists’ union, SNJT, which condemned the authorities’ attempts to “tame” the media and turn them into channels […]]]>

Tunisian journalists protested on Thursday against what they say has been increasing repression and intimidation against the press since President Kais Saied took power last year. The protest was organized by the national journalists’ union, SNJT, which condemned the authorities’ attempts to “tame” the media and turn them into channels of propaganda. The demonstrators carried signs saying “our freedom depends on the freedom of the press” and shouted slogans against “repression”. Last July, Saied sacked the government and suspended parliament, and has since dissolved the assembly, ruled by decree, and taken control of key state institutions, including the judiciary and electoral authority. Saied’s decision initially won support from Tunisians weary of the country’s post-revolution political system, but rights groups have warned of major setbacks to freedoms in the cradle of the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011. SNJT deputy director Amira Mohamed warned of “imminent danger to press freedom” in Tunisia. “Today press freedom is truly under threat,” she told AFP. Earlier Thursday, the SNJT warned in its annual report against the use of physical violence against journalists and pressure on editors to provide favorable coverage. He noted that Saied has not held a single open press conference since taking power, reflecting a communications policy “that does not recognize the right of citizens to know what is happening in their country”. Tunisia also fell 21 places in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2022 press freedom index, falling from 73rd to 94th position. The organization warned that “the intimidation of journalists has become normal” in Tunisia.

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Progress towards press freedom in Sierra Leone but there are emerging threats – Welcome to the Sierra Leone Telegraph https://guwiv.com/progress-towards-press-freedom-in-sierra-leone-but-there-are-emerging-threats-welcome-to-the-sierra-leone-telegraph/ Thu, 05 May 2022 08:00:30 +0000 https://guwiv.com/progress-towards-press-freedom-in-sierra-leone-but-there-are-emerging-threats-welcome-to-the-sierra-leone-telegraph/ Ahmed Sahid Nasralla: Sierra Leone Telegraph: May 5, 2022: On May 3, 2022, SLAJ joined the world in observing World Press Freedom Day 2022. And this is SLAJ’s official statement marking the day. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS STATUS Since the historic repeal of the Criminal and Seditious Libel Act in 2020, Sierra Leone has made […]]]>

Ahmed Sahid Nasralla: Sierra Leone Telegraph: May 5, 2022:

On May 3, 2022, SLAJ joined the world in observing World Press Freedom Day 2022. And this is SLAJ’s official statement marking the day.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS STATUS

Since the historic repeal of the Criminal and Seditious Libel Act in 2020, Sierra Leone has made commendable progress in the area of ​​press freedom. No journalist has been imprisoned in connection with the practice of journalism.

No media houses have been shut down for what they print or broadcast, with the exception of Justice FM, which was banned a few days ago by the IMC for 10 hours for allegations of “non-radio language ‘ and ‘threatening remarks…’.

Incidents of arrest and detention of journalists by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) on orders from above or by order of influential people have decreased significantly since 2020.

In the 2022 World Press Freedom Index, Sierra Leone moved up 29 places, from 75th to 46th out of 180 countries, largely due to the repeal of the criminal defamation law. , the adoption of the IMC 2020 law as a big step towards solving the minimum conditions of service of journalists and other media workers, and media pluralism in the country.

And for the first time in the 22-year history of the Independent Media Commission (IMC – the statutory body which regulates the media and which was set up to support the movement of the media towards self-regulation), His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio endorsed the 7 appointees from SLAJ, including the President, to sit on the new IMC Board of Directors consisting of 12 professional members.

SLAJ works with the security sector and tries to realize the memorandum of understanding that we signed last November, which is of fundamental importance for the realization of freedom of the press.

Additionally, the government of Sierra Leone announced an increase in its annual media subsidy from Le 250 million to Le 500 million, although it has yet to disburse for the years 2021 and 2022.

Last month, the government, in partnership with SLAJ and BBC Media Action, organized the first national media sustainability and investment conference with the aim of positioning the media in Sierra Leone for investment opportunities.

THREATS TO FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

However, while it is good on a day like this to highlight the progress we have made in the area of ​​freedom of the press, it is also necessary to point out emerging threats that could undo any progress that we have achieved since the repeal.

A number of incidents have been recorded by both SLAJ and the Media Reform Coordination Group (MRCG) from 2021 to the present, which is of concern to us.

Harassment, intimidation and detention of journalists have started to occur again, including in the digital space, and in particular by the Sierra Leonean police.

At the end of 2021, a popular rapper from Sierra Leone released a scathing video against the personality of the manager of Radio Democracy station 98.1FM, simply because the station reported the issuance of an arrest warrant against him in a judicial affair.

A journalist working for the Sierra Leone government, Abdul Fonti Kabia, has been widely reported dead on social media in an attempt to intimidate him.

The SLP assaulted and detained AYV Media photojournalist Ransford Wright when he tried to cross-check some information with the police.

Sierra Leone Reporters Union President and Head of Digital Media at AYV Media, Amadu Lamrana Bah suffered humiliation and nearly missed his flight to AFCON 2021 in Cameroon after flight attendants at Freetown International Airport attempted to drop him allegedly on orders from above for a critical sports update on his Facebook page.

The SLP sent two officers to the town of Bo in southern Sierra Leone to arrest journalist Solomon Joe of KISS 104 FM for a broadcast concerning a transaction between two businessmen. A statement was obtained from him in Bo but he was transported to Freetown and spent a night in police custody.

Worse still, an apparent assassination attempt on journalist Gibril Gottor and his family in the northern Sierra Leone town of Kambia has left the investigative journalist in fear for his life.

Moreover, a free press goes beyond the arrest and detention of journalists but concerns the political economy of the media; for example, unfair distribution of government advertising and non-payment for it.

But we are not only concerned about threats to the freedom of expression of journalists, SLAJ is also concerned about the arrest of other citizens, including dissident teachers and people with mental disabilities for expressing themselves freely, as well as the repression of peaceful demonstrations and certain popular cultural activities. .

SLAJ is concerned that the SLP now appears to be using the vague offense of incitement as an excuse to suppress free speech and we are concerned that the SLP is overreacting to dissenting views expressed by people.

When in 2021, a year after repeal, and on the occasion of our Golden Jubilee celebration, we recognized His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio as a Champion of Freedom of Expression, we done for a good reason and we reminded him that the title comes with immense responsibilities. . Freedom of the press is freedom of expression for all citizens, not just journalists.

President Bio must ensure that the fundamental rights of everyone, including those who oppose his government, are respected and protected. As Her Excellency prepares to deliver her speech at the official opening of the 6th Parliament, we look forward to hearing her strong commitment to ensuring greater protection of freedom of expression not only for the media and journalists, but also for the general public.

FREEDOM WALK

SLAJ, with the support of the European Union of Sierra Leone, will mark World Press Freedom Day this year with a PRESS FREEDOM MARCH (WPD) 2022 under the theme: “Protect, promote and expand space” to reflect on the landmark repeal of the Criminal Defamation Act in 2020, a milestone that has created positive momentum and an enabling environment for protecting and promoting freedom of opinion and opinion. expression, including freedom of the press, and civic space in Sierra Leone.

The Freedom March Platform will further provide an opportunity to encourage the Government of Sierra Leone, all political parties, the Parliament of Sierra Leone and the security sector (especially the Sierra Leone Police and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces) to strengthen their commitment. respect and protect freedom of expression and freedom of the media in the country for everyone at all times.

The freedom march is not an end in itself but the beginning of a long march towards freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Sierra Leone, the realization of which will be SLAJ’s main priority in the years to come. come as we head to the city of Makeni in June 2022. to elect a new executive and renew my term as president.

We therefore look forward to working with the European Union, British High Commission, United States Embassy, ​​Irish Embassy and other national and international organizations and experts such as our university partners Bournemouth UK, IMC, Freedom of Information Commission, MRCG, BBC Media Action, Faculty of Mass Communications, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, the UNIMAK Department of Mass Communications and the Government of Sierra Leone.

CALL FOR RESPONSIBLE PRACTICE

Meanwhile, SLAJ has received numerous complaints of alleged reckless practices from some media outlets across the country.

Let me remind my colleagues and all media houses that media freedom must be used responsibly. Journalism is a privilege, a service to society, not to be exercised irresponsibly, never to be abused. This is also a priority for SLAJ, and we will continue to launch other training programs to continue building the capacity of our practitioners.

SLAJ therefore calls on all journalists and media houses to ensure professional and ethical practice at all times and to put the public good before any other interest or consideration.

About the Author

Ahmed Sahid Nasralla is the National President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).

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Ghana’s Media Freest Ever – NPP Responds to World Press Freedom Rankings https://guwiv.com/ghanas-media-freest-ever-npp-responds-to-world-press-freedom-rankings/ Wed, 04 May 2022 18:12:09 +0000 https://guwiv.com/ghanas-media-freest-ever-npp-responds-to-world-press-freedom-rankings/ The New Patriotic Party (NPP) condemned parts of the 2022 World Press Freedom Index that called the Akufo-Addo administration “intolerant of criticism from citizens and the media.” The party argued that in contrast, the media under the NPP is the freest ever. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the party’s communication director, Yaw Boaben […]]]>

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) condemned parts of the 2022 World Press Freedom Index that called the Akufo-Addo administration “intolerant of criticism from citizens and the media.”

The party argued that in contrast, the media under the NPP is the freest ever.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the party’s communication director, Yaw Boaben Asamoa noted that the party’s contribution to the development of the media under the Fourth Republic is rather exceptional.

“The NPP believes that Ghana’s media is the freest ever and its contribution to media growth is unparalleled in the Fourth Republic,” he said.

NPP National Communications Director Yaw Buaben Asamoa

Mr. Buaben Asamoa also highlighted some contributions to media freedom by the party to debunk recent reports of the government’s alleged aversion to free speech.

“In sum, the NPP has decriminalized speech, supported infrastructure and training with the International Press Center and support funds, and improved spectrum allocations and regulatory oversight,” he added.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its 2022 Press Freedom Index noted that journalists in Ghana have in recent years come under “increasing pressure” from the government in carrying out their duties.

According to the report, this has led journalists in the country to “increasingly resort to self-censorship” in order to protect their jobs and safety.

The report also lamented the safety of journalists in recent years.

But the NPP, in its press conference, questioned the validity and authenticity of such RSF claims.

“Recent reports both internal and external, hyperbolically declaiming so-called media freedom laws in Ghana paint and reproduce a picture of systematic harassment against freedom of expression. But is this really the case and do mainstream media and civil society organizations experience this in their daily lives and activities?

“Furthermore, is freedom of expression unlimited and can it be used maliciously as an instrument for promoting instability? These are key questions, to which objective answers can mitigate despicable damage to our hard-earned political stability and potential growth in the name of regime change,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has described as depressing the 60and position in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) World Press Freedom Index.

Speaking at a press conference to commemorate International Press Freedom Day in Accra on Tuesday, GJA President Roland Affail Monney said that while the Association was awaiting the results, it was not hadn’t expected such a drastic drop in the rankings.

GJA President Affail Money

“Ghana’s latest ranking in the World Press Freedom Index is depressing enough to cause dramatic mood swings from celebration to lament. Indeed, a ranking drop had been anticipated due to a confluence of anti-media factors, but we never expected the drop to be so precipitous,” he noted.

Ghana has lost 30 places in the latest press freedom ranking compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

The report follows recent reports that the Ghanaian government has cracked down on dissent and allegations of an upsurge in press freedom violations.

The report was released to commemorate International Press Freedom Day, 2022, scored Ghana 67.43, placing the country 60th on the index which monitored 180 countries.

The ranking is the lowest the country has seen in the past 17 years since ranking 66th in 2005.

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