Press freedom and right to information in Africa
Luca Bussotti (ISCTE/IUL)
Miguel de Barros (National Institute of Studies and Research)
Start time:
27 June, 2013 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel aims at stimulating the reflection on the mass-media in Africa. The freedom of expression constitutes one of the most important issues to construct an "open" and democratic Africa. The papers proposed by journalists and communication officers are encouraged

Long abstract:

Since the middle of Nineties almost all African countries passed from a process of "democratization". The atmosphere of "oppression" made worse in the last years, due to their rapid economic growth, that caused the following consequences: "Independent African journalists covering the continent's development are now frequently persecuted for critical reporting on the misuse of public finances, corruption and the activities of foreign investors (KEITA, 2012). Western authorities drop off from their political agenda the question of Press Freedom, meanwhile the other important partner, such as China, India, Russia, are not interested in protecting the right to information in the continent. The relation between official and independent mass-media and journalists is becoming more and more critical. The research of "alternative" sources, the right to maintain them anonymous, the coverage of "hot issues" constitute problems of the journalists' work in Africa, even if new kinds of journalism are entering the social life of African people, such as the "bloggers" and the "citizen-journalist show. The challenge is very hard: in 2010 twelve journalists have been killed, thirty-four imprisoned and hundreds intimidated or assaulted (IFJ, 2010). The critical perspectives here proposed are: - juridical: what do the African constitutions and laws preview in terms of Press Freedom and Right to Information? - sociological: what is the role and difficulties of journalism today in Africa? - journalistic: what about the limits of journalism in Africa, and how is the life in the editorial staff of the African mass-media? - ethic: do the African journalists obey their deonthological rules?