3 May 2013

Southern Africa: Misa's Annual State of the Media in Southern Africa Report

press release

This 19th edition of So This Is Democracy? documents numerous media freedom and freedom of expression violations that MISA recorded in Southern Africa during the course of 2012. The critical monitoring and research function is at the core of MISA's work throughout Southern Africa and closely-linked with decisive action, both in terms of practical support to journalists and media policy advocacy.

We make two key observations based on the analyses contained in this report.

One, the key issues that were previously observed, and will be carried over into 2013, will be around the safety and security (both offline and online) of journalists. The killing of Daudi Mwangosi and the brutal attack on Absalom Kibanda in Tanzania remain serious causes for concern and, therefore, necessitate greater attention to be paid to them.

Two, what is clear in the year under review is that the media law reform project largely stalled throughout the region. Throughout the SADC region, the use of outmoded laws to target journalists and stifle freedom of expression is a major cause of concern. From Tanzania down to Lesotho and South Africa, these laws have been used to ban newspapers, target individual journalists and criminalise free speech. Criminal defamation laws appear to be a popular choice for many governments for the exercise for these purposes.

MISA remains committed to fighting for media freedom and freedom of expression in Southern Africa.

You can download the full report or the various sections here.

Don't forget to Sign Up to our revamped mailing list so as to receive more targeted and up-to-date information OR alternatively, visit our website, our YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages (Twitter account @MISARegional)

Furthermore, on May 3, the MISA family will be tweeting all the activities that will be taking place throughout the SADC region by using the harsh tag #misapfd, and we shall use this harsh tag #misapfd to track our Specialists for Media Freedom Monitoring and Research, and Media Law Policy and Advocacy as they make their rounds through out the region. So you can't afford to miss this.

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