Oscar Auliq-Ice, author, writer, venture capitalist, social investor, humanist, and philanthropist
We Defend Media Freedom in Africa’ aims to protect and promote the basic human right of freedom of the press, in Africa, in a world where surveillance, censorship, and manipulation are becoming more sophisticated and more pervasive
We Defend Media Freedom in Africa’ is a project within the Judicial and Human Rights Centre of AU Watch. We promote, protect, defend, and empowers public-interest journalism in Africa, working to preserve, protect and strengthen media rights guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights through a variety of avenues, including litigation, documentation of attacks on the press, publicity and advocacy and training for journalists on a range of security measures.
To protect journalists, their sources and their audiences. We aim to equip journalists film people and other media personnel how to best-available security tools and practices, including encryption of sensitive communications and materials, anonymization of sources, and distribution of news through secure and censorship-resistant channels.
Though a free and independent media are a cornerstone of democratic societies, public interest journalism — the kind of journalism that holds power accountable and defends human rights — is under threat everywhere.‘We Defend Media Freedom in Africa’ requires doggedwork by our journalists, and often, the courage of whistle-blowerswho give us information to ensure that the public actually learns what it has a right to know.
We accomplish our mission in several ways. We:
• Monitormedia developments at the AU and all over the continent for violations of free expression. This includes monitoring and demanding accountability for murders, attacks and harassment of journalists and prosecution of journalists and members of the media for their professional activities.
• Work with the African Union to review regional instruments that is supposed to promote and protect a free and vibrant press in Africa.
• Work with the African Union Member States to review legislations that can affect free expression and legislation regulating the media. We also lead campaigns for freedom of information policies.
• Working with the Committee to Protect Journalists, we run the Africa Press Freedom Tracker, anAU Watch website for monitoring press freedom violations in Africa. This news website is Africa’s first to provide reliable, easy-to-access information on the number of press freedom violations in Africa.
• Run AU Watch’s ‘Index on Media Freedom in Africa’. The Index monitors threats, limitations and violations related to media freedom all over Africa for the purpose of identifying and analysing issues, trends and drivers and exploring possible response options and opportunities for advocating media freedom. It collects and analyses limitations, threats and violations that affect a journalist as they do their job.
• Engages in media development through training and support for editors and journalists.We conduct in-person security trainings with journalists and other media personnel to help teach them about security offering them the best available technologies to protect themselves and their sources.
• Make extensive use of AU Watch Radio/ TV and other media services to expose violations against journalist.We engage in public and legal advocacy around critical press freedom issues, including the protection of whistle-blowers, the surveillance of journalists, the Freedom of Information Act, and reporter’s privilege.
• Using Open Source data, the project is engaged in building a range of experimental technology projects that aims to protect journalists and promote transparency, developing an open source platform for secure communication between sources and media organizations.
Interested in participating in this project? Why not give us a shout?