I s s u e  2   -   M A Y  ,  1 9 9 9

Tripartite Review Meeting approves the project’s first annual work plan…
TAG comments on the first draft Community Radio Report…
Media Pluralism Landscape study maps media activity all over.
Journalists discuss Democracy and Human Rights in Inhambane
Journalists discuss how to better cover the forthcoming general elections

 Unpunished crimes against journalists

 UNESCO celebrates 1999’s World Press Freedom Day, on May 3, with series of events around the world, highlighting this year’s chosen theme: the unpunished crimes committed against journalists and information professionals. “This is a particularly serious problem as in many countries around the world murder, violence, and intimidation are used as means to silence journalists and most of these crimes are not investigated and punished”, says a UNESCO press release, from Paris. 

According to the document, the record for 1998 is  “dismal”: at least 20 journalists were killed in the course of duty throughout the world. In total, more than 500 journalists have been assassinated over the past ten years.

 Also in Mozambique, where a democratic media law was approved in 1991, the Police detained a reporter from Cabo Delgado province in January this year without charge for 23 hours, because he denounced police brutality, which resulted directly in the death of an alleged thief. The local police did not like to see their activities in the newspaper and kept the journalist in their cells for 23 days.

 A less serious attack on press freedom occurred in Maputo also last January, when a traffic policeman involved in an accident seized the work card of veteran photojournalist, Naita Ussene, from the weekly “Savana”. The National Union of Journalists publicly denounced the two cases and sent a formal protest to the Ministry of Interior.

 Freedom of expression and access to information: these crucial democratic principles represent the cornerstones of our Media Development Project in Mozambique, designed primarily to assist the independence of the media in general and the emerging independent media in particular. By assisting to build capacity within the press, the project aims to further media pluralism, thus helping the establishment of a vibrant, and informed civil society in the country.


Tripartite Review Meeting approves the project’s first annual work plan

The plan covering all of 1999 was approved by the first Tripartite Meeting held on March 18th this year. The TPR is composed by representatives from Government, UNDP and the bilateral donors to the project: Finland, Norway and Ireland.

 Prior to the TPR the Project Monitoring Committee had its inaugural meeting in February, which presented recommendations to the TPR concerning the Progress Report and the draft Work Plan.

…and TAG comments on the first draft Community Radio Report…

A final report on the conditions and the process for the establishment of the project’s first three pilot Community Radio stations in rural Mozambique is expected to be ready by mid May.  A consultant carried out the field studies in the provinces of Inhambane, Sofala and Niassa during December 98 and January 99.

  When the draft report was received, the project called a meeting of a Technical Advisory Group (TAG)- an ad hoc group of experts providing operations-oriented advice to the project for the consultant’s final report.  

While a Media Pluralism Landscape study maps media activity all over.

A major “Media Pluralism Landscape” study is now half way, as a multi-disciplinary team of field researchers gathers data in the ten provinces of Mozambuque: They register all print and broadcast media initiatives, describe ownership management and control aspects; the sustainability potencial of the media, professional level of the human resources involved; as well as the technical equipment available will be scrutinised .

  This study will serve as a guide for project decisions on how to best assure the further strengthening of media pluralism in the country along the lines of the project work plan. Other actors involved in media development in Mozambique will also be able to use the study.

Journalists discuss Democracy and Human Rights in Inhambane

Twenty journalists, selected out of a total of more than forty candidates attended the project’s  third course on “The role of media in promoting democracy, governance and human rights” in the city of Inhambaen, some 550 kms north of Maputo.

The participants, all mid career reporters, came from the south of the country, while the earlier courses on the same topic took place in the central and northern parts of Mozambique

…and will discuss how to better cover the forthcoming general elections

Election coverage being one of many components of the training course described above, the project is presently co-ordingating the palnning of and fundraising for a project to further strengthen the election coverage capacity of Mozambican journalists.

  The project has three components: discussion fora among journalists; support to journalist’s travel to cover elections within the country; and funds for journalists to travel to cover election campaigns in neighbouring contries.

  While this project is designed and will be executed by the Maputo delegation of the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre(SARDC), the project continues to play a catalyst role for actors  involved in media development in Mozambique.

  Media Development Project c/o UNESCO, P.O.Box 1397 Maputo, Mozambique
Tel. + 258.1. 498752/ 490840 Fax +258.1.498717
E-mail: unesco@mediamoz.com