Regional Media Freedom Advocacy Strategy

This media freedom advocacy strategy is informed by a research conducted using qualitative and quantitative research methods of interviews and a survey to establish threats to media and freedom of expression in East Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The interviews and survey were conducted among 80 journalists and 32 media managers. Thirty-one of the journalists were drawn from radio; 16 were taken from television, 21 from newspapers, while 12 journalists were taken from online media. Fourteen of the 32 media managers were drawn from radio, 10 from newspapers, five from television and another three from online media outlets.

The strategy is informed by a synthesis of the threats to media freedoms in East Africa, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, committed by both state and non-state actors. It is also informed by a review of the legal and policy regime in the individual countries. It lays out strategies for combating the growing threats to media freedom in East Africa and will be the basis for ACME and regional partners to advance media freedoms in the region to safeguard media freedom, media independence and media viability concerns.

This regional advocacy approach is based on the understanding that the safety and security of the media/journalists is very critical in guaranteeing the independence and professionalism of the media, which in turn works to serve as effective watchdogs and promoters of democratic principles in growing democracies in the East Africa region.

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