ABOUT MISA

MISA Regional office logo

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is a non-governmental organisation that promotes freedom of speech and freedom of the press. MISA’s head office is located in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.

MISA was established in 1992 in response to the passing of the Windhoek Declaration, a statement by African journalists promoting freedom of the media.

Since opening its doors, MISA — which is funded by donors and members — has established offices (or chapters) in eight countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

MISA-Swaziland, the chapter that represents the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Swaziland, was established in 1996.

Like the other MISA offices, MISA-Swaziland exists to promote freedom of speech in pursuit of democracy and the protection of human rights.

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By monitoring the media, documenting media violations, advocating for Access to Information, and training journalists, MISA-Swaziland is dedicated to the development of the local media sector. With assistance from like-minded organisations (and anyone who wants more freedom), MISA-Swaziland is working toward an environment that upholds freedom of expression and the right to information. We encourage media diversity, competency, and professionalism.

Click here to see MISA-Swaziland’s staff members and board.

MISA-SWAZILAND’S MISSION

MISA-Swaziland seeks to foster a free, independent and diverse media, through advocacy, monitoring, capacity building, training, and the distribution of information in the service of democracy and development in Swaziland.

MISA-SWAZILAND’S VISION

  • A media that is free, independent, and diverse
  • Access to the media and information by all sectors of society
  • Media workers who are competent, critical, accountable, sensitive to gender and aware of their responsibility to society
  • Legislation, regulation, and policy environments that support media freedom, independence, and diversity
  • Citizens of Swaziland who are empowered to claim information as a basic right.

“If people of any country want and work for a more transparent and efficient government and economy, then they must fight for the freedom of those who disseminate information. They must fight for the right to know and the right to tell it like it is.”
— Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate

THE WINDHOEK DECLARATION: MISA’S REASON FOR BEING

MISA was established in 1992 in response to the passing of the Windhoek Declaration, a statement by African journalists promoting freedom of the media.

The Declaration was agreed upon at a UN-sponsored seminar, ‘Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press’, held in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, in 1991. It was later endorsed by the UNESCO general conference.

The Declaration defines an independent press as that which is ‘independent from governmental, political or economic control or from control of materials and infrastructure essential for the production and dissemination of newspapers, magazines and periodicals’.

And a pluralistic press is stated to ‘mean the end of monopolies of any kind and the existence of the greatest possible number of newspapers, magazines and periodicals reflecting the widest possible range of opinion within the community’.

As the Internet has grown in more recent years, it would be fair to assume that ‘newspapers, magazines, and periodicals’ now encapsulates online news-sites and the various types of blogs that offer people access to information.

The Declaration further states that ‘the world­wide trend towards democracy and freedom of information and expression is a fundamental contribution to the fulfilment of human aspirations’.

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