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SANEF welcomes the establishment of the Network of Independent Media Councils in Africa to promote media freedom across the continent

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23 May 2024

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) welcomes the establishment of a new network to promote media freedom in Africa. This is an initiative of thirteen Africa Media Councils, which includes our own Press Council, dedicated to fair and just media regulation environments across the continent. The new organisation is called the Network of Independent Media Councils in Africa (Nimca)

Nimca was formed last week after the Press Council of South Africa (PCSA) convened an inaugural meeting of African media councils in Cape Town.

We believe that the formation of this network signifies a robust commitment by these partner institutions to collaborate effectively. Through this partnership, we aim to play a meaningful role in fostering an African society where the media can operate freely and independently to the benefit of the public. The network will facilitate an ecosystem of support, enabling the sharing of best practices and promoting accountability and democracy across the continent.

The collaborative efforts of these councils underscore a collective dedication in upholding media freedom, ensuring that journalists can work without fear or favour. By promoting transparency and ethical standards, the network will contribute to the development of a vibrant and democratic media landscape in Africa.

SANEF looks forward to working closely with Nimca and our various partners to advance these objectives, strengthening the media’s role in building an informed and engaged society.

The thirteen councils, which formed Nimca, from East, West, and Southern Africa established the new body to bring together independent media content regulators from around the continent and to convene regularly to discuss the strengthening of media freedom, ethics, and public accountability on the continent.

Nimca has called on independent media regulators in other African countries to join the new organisation to promote self-regulation as the cornerstone of free, professional, and credible media in an evolving communications landscape where social media is implicated in the circulation of unethical and low-quality content.

Nimca’s objective is for the professional media to report, freely, and without fear of reprisals while at the same time being accountable to journalistic ethical standards and codes of practice. Its ethos and operations will be guided by the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in 2019.

The Cape Town meeting agreed that the media, whether privately or government-funded, needs to operate in a free environment with no threats of censorship, intimidation, harassment, or physical threats to journalists, including online harassment.

Note to Editors:

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists, and journalism trainers from all areas of South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics, and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism by fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research, and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.

For more information, please contact:

Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Chairperson (073) 404-1415

Nwabisa Makunga – SANEF Deputy Chairperson (082) 555-1972

Dr. Glenda Daniels – SANEF Secretary-General (083) 229-9708

Tshamano Makhadi – Treasurer-General (082) 223-0621

Makhudu Sefara – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (079) 177-2134

Katy Katopodis – SANEF Wellness and Safety Chair (082) 805-7022

Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334)

Rochelle De Kock – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (072) 969-8028

Reggy Moalusi – SANEF Executive Director (071) 682-3695

Twitter: @SAEditorsForum

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.sanef.org.za