> xposted from VISCOM@LISTSERV.TEMPLE.EDU
> Here is a synopsis of a 26 minute video that has been commissioned by
> Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) for World Press Freedom Day
> May 3, 1998.
> MISA is organising showings for civil society representatives and
> makers in most southern African countries, coordinated by our
> offices. We are also asking national broadcasters to show the video
> of their recognition of world press freedom day.
> If anyone would like to organise a showing the video, in southern
> Africa or
> elsewhere, as a sign of solidarity with the region on this important
> (World Press Freedom Day was declared by the United nations in
> commemeration of the Windhoek Declaration on promoting an independent
> pluralistic African press), please contact myself or Bright Mwape,
> Information Co-ordinator, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA),
> Private Bag 13386
> Windhoek, Namibia, Tel. +264 61 232975, Fax. 248016, e-mail:
> Broadcasting and other campaign materials will also be available.
> The idea:
> A young journalist is given an assignment by her newspaper editor:
> "Write an article on World Press Freedom day by 3. May."
> Short drama sequences set the framework of the film, and introduce
> documentary elements which have been commissioned from film crews and
> reporters from around the MISA region of 11 southern African
> The film producers have set the action in the offices of a local
> where the reporter is an actress, but the stories she finds are all
> real. The internet becomes a window into a world which she discovers.
> Information is there - the Windhoek Declaration of 1991, which calls
> for a
> free, independent and pluralistic press. Interviews can be called up
> journalists in the print and broadcast media throughout southern
> These become full screen television pictures. The audience is brought
> contact with people and stories around the region, and learns that
> press is a vital, but fragile element in a democratic society.
> Reports include the murder of Ricardo de Mello, assassinated in
> 1995. Press harrassment and censorship become issues in the film,
> describes the banning of the Post newspaper in Zambia and the
> of its editor, who makes a spirited defence of his journalism.
> But it is not only the press which faces restrictions. Blatant
> censorship of the television news in Swaziland opens the debate about
> owns and controls the media in southern Africa. Are private ownership
> pluralism the same thing? Not if powerful individuals own whole
> newspapers, and radio and television stations, too.
> The media is under threat. According to some, it is irresponsible,
> unpatriotic, and sensationalist. It must be controlled. Some see
> councils and licensing as necessary reforms, others say they are
> to gag journalists. The film reflects the debate.
> This is not the reporter's only assignment. One day she is personally
> confronted with a story based on a source who wishes to remain
> For her, press freedom assumes a personal significance.
> The film is a voyage of discovery, whereby the journalist - and the
> audience - learn why press freedom is important to everybody.
> Director: Steve Felton
> Production company: Mubasen
> John Barker, Regional Programme
> Coordinator (Broadcasting)
> Media Institute of Southern Africa
> Private Bag 13386,
> 21 Johann Albrecht Street
> Windhoek, NAMIBIA
> Tel: +264 61 232975 Fax +264 61 248016
> E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
> * http://www.misanet.org *