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 THE AFRICAN EDITORS FORUM

DECLARATION

ON WORLD MEDIA FREEDOM DAY

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, celebrated across the world to highlight press freedom, The All Africa Editors Forum notes that:

–         Governments across Africa have, through the various declarations and regulations, committed themselves to freedom of expression and of the press and media in general.

–         Journalists, editors continue to be harassed and detained, despite the commitment by various governments to the press freedom.

–         The African Union, celebrates its 52nd anniversary

–         The AU has an opportunity to force all government to sign and commit, in practice, to the Table Mountain Declaration, the 1991 Windhoek Declaration, in its 25th anniversary year, and the 2002 Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa

–         Some countries on our continent have not removed insult laws and continue to criminalize media offences.

Therefore TAEF declares that:

–         Africa needs strong, free and independent media to act as a watchdog over public institutions.

–         Press freedom is a basic human right as well as an indispensable constituent of democracy in every African country.

–         Citizens in all African states will not be free until all media on the continent is free

–         Nations of Africa needs a free media so that can provide them with information that would enable them to take informed decision about their lives.

–         Governments across the continent, who have pledged to uphold freedom of the media must walk the talk and stop harassing and detaining journalists and editors for doing their work.

–         Governments must immediately remove, from its statute books, ALL laws that are inimical to media freedom

–         AU must name and shame governments that violate freedom of the media and of expression

 

We as editors and journalists, again commit ourselves to:

–         Upholding the highest standards of excellence in journalism

–         Our work will always be guided by public interest

–         Maintaining credibility of the press and the trust of our readers

–         Always striving for the truth and avoiding unnecessary harm

–         Reflecting a multiplicity of voice in our coverage of events

–         Showing special concern for children and other vulnerable groups

 

Jovial Rantao,

President,

The African Editors Forum (TAEF)