CSOs and media, dialogue over safety of journalists

Accra- The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) on Thursday, met with the media to develop a plan of action on the safety of Journalists on the continent.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Media Foundation for West Africa, West African Journalists Association, Freedom of Expression Protection Programme, Media Institute of Southern Africa, Institute for Media and Society among others.

Mr Edetaen Ojo, the Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda who is also the Chairperson of AFEX said there was the need to develop an action plan to ensure that journalists were ultimately protected.

He stressed for the need to implement United Nations’ mechanism in all African countries to bring to bear the commitment of every country to the safety of journalists.

Mr Ojo urged the African community to take keen interest in the safety of journalists to ensure that that freedom of expression was not curtailed.

The participants were divided into three groups to identify potentials threats against journalists, perpetrators and the measures to protect journalists.

At the end of the group discussions, the various groups suggested the need to train security forces and public agents and journalists on the safety and ethical standards as well as digital security.

The groups also suggested the establishment of network of lawyers to support journalist to sue or defend when sued.

The groups also suggested that there was the need for media legislation reforms through the formulation of better laws, decriminalising defamation and pushing for implementation of existing laws.

Source: Ghana News Agency