ACME congratulates The Observer on its 10th anniversary

The management and staff of African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) congratulate The Observer on this your 10th anniversary.

We hope you can maintain your analytical, bold and independent brand of journalism for many more years to come.

At ACME we believe good journalism:

  • provides information that is significant and relevant;
  • is truthful and accurate;
  • is fair and impartial;
  • offers context and perspective;
  • provides a civic forum that both informs and engages the public;
  • is credible and authoritative;
  • upholds the value of diversity;
  • is independent (from vested interests, be they political or commercial); and
  • is enterprising and interesting.

For journalists to produce good journalism, they require:

  • a good understanding of the institution(s) or communities they cover;
  • investing time and resources in research;
  • an inquisitive mind and intellectual curiosity;
  • a broad, all-round education;
  • a multi-disciplinary understanding of issues;
  • critical thinking;
  • scepticism;
  • humility;
  • passion;
  • determination and hard work;
  • enterprise and creativity;
  • continuing training and education; and
  • decent compensation for their labour.

We also believe good journalism is too important to be left to journalists and media alone.

To advertisers

  • Respect the media’s independence and in particular the firewall between advertising departments and newsrooms.
  • Refrain from blackmailing the media into producing promotional stories instead of compelling journalism that informs and engages the public.

To civil society

  • Promote and defend the right to press freedom and freedom of expression.
  • Promote the right of access to information.
  • Share information with the media.
  • Hold the media accountable.

To citizens

  • Demand timely, accurate and relevant information about public affairs.
  • Share information with the media.
  • Hold the media accountable.

To the government

  • Promote and protect the right to press freedom and freedom of expression.
  • Promote and protect the right of access to information.
  • Account to the public on how it uses its power.
  • Share information to promote public participation, transparency and accountability.

To media owners

  • Facilitate your journalists to practice good journalism.
  • Respect the independence of the newsroom.
  • Promote and defend the right to press freedom and freedom of expression.
  • Allow a diversity of views on your media platforms.
  • Honour the public interest mission of journalism.

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