Last week, South African-based media watchdog, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) hosted a landmark series of events to commemorate Black Wednesday (19 October) and to applaud those in the sector that have been pushing boundaries to maintain and deepen quality ethical journalism. Each of the events took place in the evenings during the week Monday 16 October to Thursday 19 October 2017, and explored different critical media-related topics and issues. Recognising that media freedom should not just be a concern to media houses or journalists, each event was open the public and saw an exquisite line-up of panelists from across the sector, including experts, academics and journalists, sharing their views and insights.
MONDAY 16 October: WEB SURVIVAL GUIDE: FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Harnessing the power of online and avoiding its pitfalls with insights from our very own
The discussion was facilitated by fantastic Joanne Joseph (eNCA) with speakers Diana Schwarz (legal dynamo, PPM Attorneys) and Dianne Mc Alpine (National game-changer, LeadSA). We also had the inputs from our terrific Web Rangers, Naledi Selaye and Lerato Makhalemele, who shared their experiences and learnings as children growing up in the digital age.
TUESDAY 17 October: THREATS TO JOURNALISM AND STANDING TALL
Unpacking the current threats to journalism and how we can all fight back!
Day 2- #MMAMFW17 Overview
Against the atmosphere of monumental success for MMA and the SOS Coalition with their court case against the Communications Minister, the discussion that took place on Tuesday night still saw the need for journalists & media industry to objectively reflect on how they take their profession forward.
Facilitating the talks was the excellent Bloomberg journalist, Sam Mkokeli, who asked questions that hit home, both with the panellists and the audience.
Perceptions of Credibility – Seen & unseen threats;
A common sentiment held by those on the panel was that threats to journalism persist in the country. And these threats come in all shapes and sizes, from physical harassment and intimidation to ownership influence on editorial decisions.
WEDNESDAY 18 October: WHOSE (ON)LINE IS IT ANYWAY?
Understanding what online regulation means for you!
Day 3- #MMAMFW17 Overview
With the ever-increasing opportunities and threats in the digital age and with most people signed up to various social media platforms, the big question this event sought to answer was: who actually regulates the online space and what are the responsibilities of the public in this?
The discussion saw Justine Limpitlaw (Independent legal expert), Lisa MacLeod (Tiso BlackStar) and Avani Singh (ALT Africa) reveal some of the key policy issues that are impacting this space, including the controversial CyberCrimes Bill and Hate Speech Bill. The discussion was facilitated by the vivacious Iman Rappetti (PowerFM).
THURSDAY 19 October: COURTING MEDIA FREEDOM
Join us to find out what Shelley Garland, the SABC, van Breda and Zephany Nurse all have in common. HINT: Media Freedom wins!
Day 4- #MMAMFW17 “Courting Media Freedom”
The final evening for Media Freedom Week saw the brilliant minds behind some of the greatest legal victories of 2017 share what these triumphs mean for the media sector and the impact these have for the public at large. Advocate Steven Budlender, Dario Milo (Webber Wentzel) and Duduetsang Makuse (SOS Coalition) discussed issues ranging from the latest victory against political interference in SABC all the way through to when the media can and should report on children. The discussion was facilitated by the impeccable, Stephen Grootes (EWN).
Please follow online at @MediaMattersza (Twitter), MediaMattersza (Facebook) or our web page (www.mediamonitoringafrica.org) for updates.
We would like to thank all of our partners who made this such a tremendous success and we hope that you will all join us for Media Freedom Week 2018!