Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Africa: Free Online Course, Offered by Wits University, Starts Friday 15 June 2020
A free, seven-week online course, “Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Africa”, offered by the LINK Centreand WitsXat the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, begins Friday 15 June 2020.
The Verified Certificate (which ordinarily costs US$ 49) is Free for existing Wits Students: If a student is already a registered Wits student with a Wits University email address, he or she can obtain the Certificate free of charge with a coupon number. Email Justine@Limpitlaw.co.za to obtain the coupon and the information about how to redeem the coupon.
The course is a free-of-charge MOOC (massive open online course), available on the global edX platform. It aims to empower activists, students, regulators, journalists, lawyers, and everyone interested in ensuring a free, pluralistic and independent African media.
When societies achieve this kind of media, they can benefit from journalism playing a critical role in democracy and development. This is the policy context whereby journalists inform citizens, defend freedom of expression for everyone, and enable access to information that some people would prefer to keep covered up.
The Wits course honours and sustains the legacy of South African media freedom and freedom of expression activist #Jeanette Minnie, who passed away in November 2016. Minnie devoted her professional life to ensuring robust civil society engagement with African media policy. She was a media activist who developed massive experience in understanding the challenges and who knew how to make changes for the better.
In the Wits course, participants will engage with:
- core elements of the principles of freedom of expression, media freedom, and access to information
- policy and practical components necessary to democratic media ecosystems
- regulatory and other measures that build media pluralism and diversity
- mechanisms of self-regulation, co-regulation, statutory regulation and regulatory independence in democratic media ecosystems
- the practical and policy dimensions introduced by online media, online expression, and online information access
- strategies for effective civil society engagement with policy and practice in support of democratic Africa media ecosystems
- the effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on journalists and the media
Participants can take this dynamic course, including its discussion forums, assignments and multiple-choice assessments, free of charge. Participants who wish to also receive a Verified Certificate of Achievement for the course, endorsed by edX and Wits University, can do so by passing one additional assessment and paying a USD49 certification fee.
The course instructors are Prof. Justine Limpitlaw (Wits LINK Centre), Paula Fray (frayintermedia), Zoe Titus
(Namibia Media Trust), Dr. Sarah Chiumbu (University of Johannesburg), and Koketso Moeti (Amandla.mobi). The course content was developed by the instructors and WitsX with support from the course’s international Advisory Committee and frayintermedia. Funding for course research, development, piloting and marketing has been provided by Free Press Unlimited, Bertha Foundation,Namibia Media Trust (NMT), and fesmedia Africa. Marketing support is by frayintermedia and fraycollege.
Participants wishing to enrol for the course can go to https://bit.ly/3eb1mST.
For more information on the course, and to arrange for media interviews with course instructors, please contact:
Nadia van der Merwe
Tel: +27 11 888 0140
Mobile: +27 71 233 2789