Issues We Address
MISA operates as a regional programme with national chapters forming its membership in 11 (eleven) southern African countries. MISA is also an organised group of activists advocating for the specific social agenda of media freedom and freedom of expression.
The institute has also gone beyond reporting by providing practical assistance to media practitioners and houses in the form of funds for legal defence as part of its promotion of media freedom. It has also campaigned for the repeal of laws that hinder the enjoyment of free expression and media freedom while promoting the enactment of legislation that promotes access to information and the professionalisation of media such as self-regulation for print media and the establishment of independent broadcasting regulatory authorities for the regulation of broadcast media.
MISA’s mission is to play a leading role in creating an environment of media freedom and freedom of expression that promotes independence, pluralism and diversity of views and opinions, media sustainability, competency and professionalism.
The mission and vision of MISA are based on the following principles and values:
• Freedom of expression as defined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
• Media freedom, independence, diversity and pluralism as provided for in the Windhoek Declaration of 1991;
• Three tier separation of power as provided for in the SADC ICT Declaration of 2001 with the government being responsible for a conducive national policy framework, independent regulator responsible for licensing and a multiplicity of providers in a competitive environment responsible for providing services;
• Three tier system of broadcasting (public, commercial and community) as provided in the African Charter on Broadcasting of 2001;
• Media professionalism and the observance of ethical standards in media products that seek to inform, empower, educate and entertain;
• Citizens’ right to access to information in order to enhance transparency and citizen participation in government, judiciary and legislative issues;
• Participatory democracy, respect for human rights, equality, human dignity, freedom and non-discrimination; and
• Gender equality in and through the media and society.