essential to media freedom and freedom of expression


ver the past 20 years, the Media Institute of Southern
Africa (MISA) has been the primary advocate for media freedom and
freedom of expression in southern Africa, issuing alerts on media
freedom violations, condemnations of killings, assaults and other forms
of unjustified treatment to journalists, including restrictions on access to
For freedom of expression to exist, there must be access to a free press
that can give the public access to non-partisan information; give a voice
to the different sectors of society; tell the many sides of a story; deliver
information from a variety of sources so as to enable people to make
informed decisions; and report on all matters in the public interest, giving
a better understanding of the political, socio-economic and cultural
A basic human right
All of the above is highly dependent on a free press, of which safety and The right to work without threat of violence is a basic human right.
security of journalists is the hallmark.
Everyone – from journalists, to bloggers, to people who just have
something to say – has the right to form and express his or her opinions.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upholds this
A free press is at the absolute core of equitable development,
right to freely seek, receive and send out information, ideas and opinions
if you cannot enfranchise poor people, if they do not have a
through any media.
right to expression, if there is no searchlight on corruption
and inequitable practices, you cannot build the public
MISA continuously implores southern African governments to guarantee
consensus needed to bring about change.
this right and bring to justice those implicated in attacks on media
freedom, which have resulted in the death, maiming, beating and arrest,
James D Wolfensohn,former President of the World Bank
detention and/or charging of scores of media workers across the region.


Back Contents Next

Select target paragraph3