The Media Foundation for West Africa in partnership with the Copenhagen-based International Media Support and the Dakar-based Panos Institute West Africa, is to intensify its free expression rights monitoring and reporting in crisis-ridden Mali from May 20, 2013.
In preparation for the monitoring exercise, the MFWA is organising a two-day training programme for monitors in the Malian Capital, Bamako on May 14-15, 2013. The training, expected to result in a structured and co-ordinated FoE rights monitoring network, will provide knowledge and skills in monitoring and reporting on FOE conditions in Mali.
The monitoring and reporting of Freedom of Expression (FoE) rights violations forms part of a comprehensive project being implemented by the three organisations with the objective of strengthening the territorial integrity of Mali through bridging content divide between the North and South, and by building capacity of journalists in conflict sensitive journalism and ethical content production and sharing.
Other activities under the project will thus include training of local journalists in conflict sensitive and ethical journalism and production of media content to bridge the information divide between the north and south of the country.
The project is based on the outcome of a mission conducted by the three organisations in October 2012, during which the effects of the ongoing crisis in the country on media practice and freedom was assessed.
Findings from the mission highlighted a critical need to promote the safety of journalists, conflicts-sensitive reporting as well as a critical need for media access by Malians in the Northern part of the Country which is most affected by the crisis.
The monitoring will focus on the entire country but with particular attention to the capital Bamako, and the main Northern towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.
The monitors will be expected to send-in reports of violations as and when they occur and will also send-in monthly situational reports.