Workshops Media and Politics

Description 

In 2007 MFA organized, in partnership with AWPA, 6 national workshops on ‘Media and politics’ in follow up to the African News Media Conference held in Nairobi in August 2006. The workshops took place in Tanzania, Uganda, RC, DR Congo, and Kenya.

It is generally agreed that the media plays a critical role in democratic sustenance. The role played by the emergent multi party parliaments in coming up with pieces of legislation and indeed in safeguarding the democratic gains made thus far by the developing countries is equally important. These two institutions in their separate roles, serve in the interest of the public. Both institutions recognize the value of accurate and fair reporting as channels for public feedback, which in turn is useful in informing policy and lawmaking processes. However, the essential role of Parliament as representatives of the diversity of the citizenry and that of its watchdog role over the government has not fully been appreciated by the news media. On the other hand, Parliament has not fully appreciated the place and role of media practitioners in the open and free society.

The African News Media Conference organised by Awepa, the Nation Media Group Kenya and the United Nations - affiliated University for Peace (UPEACE), examined the challenges facing Africa’s news media – as a watchdog and educator, while promoting transparent governance, preventing conflict and building peace. The final document of the Conference listed a number of recommendations, which can be summarised as follows:

  • Codes of ethics between parliamentarians and the news media should be developed with regular peer review.
  • Greater coverage of parliamentary proceedings by the news media should be facilitated, including the work of parliamentary committees.
  • Media training for parliamentarians should be organized to enable them to interact more effectively with the news media.

The regional workshops brought together politicians and journalists to discuss The objectives of the regional workshops were:

  • To examine the progress made since the conference held in Nairobi in August 2006 specifically with regard to the implementation of the recommendations;
  • To evaluate the challenges faced during the implementation of the Nairobi Conference Recommendations;
  • To promote greater access to information with regard to parliamentary procedures, debates and coverage;
  • To improve mutual understanding and respect between the media and parliament through sustained dialogue;
  • To explore modalities of developing a code of ethics or memorandum of understanding that will ensure harmonious relationship between the two institutions
News 

Parlementaires et journalistes deblayent le terrain de leur cohabitation

The workshops received a lot of attention in the DRC, where it was the for the first time that journalists and parlementarians got together to discuss their respective roles.