A progressive media and Access to Information landscape are critical for the strengthening of democracy and the advancement of fundamental rights for all citizens. Media environments must be resilient and responsive to the dynamic and ever-evolving social, political and economic conditions of their contexts. In healthy democracies, state and non-state actors alike depend on strong, independent, and sustainable media organisations to access credible news and information services as well as conduct open debate and dialogue. Our work, therefore, aims to strengthen media and access to information environments through assessments and providing political and policy advisory recommendations, and fostering multistakeholder engagements.
Our primary lines of action here are:
The AMB is an in-depth and comprehensive descriptive system for national media environments in Sub-Saharan African countries. It is a homegrown index based on African protocols and declarations, such as the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa (2002) and the revised Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (2019) by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). The AMB was developed in 2004 in partnership with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). By the end of 2022, it had been conducted 128 times in 32 countries.
The Misa Transparency Assessment is a citizen’s analysis of government openness in Southern Africa. Since 2009, MISA has evaluated the level of openness of government and public organizations in its annual Transparency Assessment. Carried out by MISA chapters alongside local researchers, the study seeks to establish the ease or difficulty with which citizens can access public information. Fesmedia Africa partners with MISA in conducting the assessments and implementing the recommendations in the framework of advancing access to information as a human right and an important pillar for democracy.
Fesmedia Africa has commissioned studies on internet universality, ICT policies in Africa, and trends in national and regional media landscapes. To strengthen the knowledge base in the thematic areas we work in, we envision studies on Access to Information, privacy and data protection legal frameworks, and working conditions of journalists.