The Wits LINK Centre and WitsX are pleased to announce that registration is open for a free, six-week, online course on  “Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Africa”. 

The course begins on Friday 4 October 2019.

This free-of-charge MOOC (massive open online course), available on the global edX platform, 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 get to grips 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; and
  • strategies for effective civil society engagement with policy and practice in support of democratic Africa media ecosystems.

Participants can take this dynamic, interactive and intellectually-engaging 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 should please go to this edX course link. 

For more information on the course, and to arrange for media interviews with course instructors, please contact: 

Patience Shawarira, fraycollege

Tel: +27 11 782 0535   

Mobile: +27 74 883 1716 

Email: pshawarira@fraycollege.com