Media coverage of issues confronting digital rights and online freedom has significantly improved over the last year as more media platform and practitioners dedicate more attention to developments in the digital space. This is according to Paradigm Initiative, the pan-African digital rights and inclusion social enterprise.
Paradigm Initiative made this known in a press statement announcing the commencement of application for the second edition of its Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellowship.
Paradigm Initiative’s Communications Officer Sodiq Alabi said, “The media has become a major partner in the efforts to ensure that human rights online are protected in Africa. As media practitioners are usually victims of digital rights violations including censorship, harassment and illegal surveillance, it makes perfect sense that they are now focusing their attention on increasing awareness around digital rights and holding governments and businesses accountable.”
Paradigm Initiative further emphasised the need for improved synergy between digital rights advocates and the media to ensure human rights online are well protected by the law, and violations do not go unreported.
“The Media Fellowship is part of our effort to ensure this synergy is groomed and nurtured. The Fellowship is, therefore, a 4-month program designed to immerse outstanding, early career, journalists in digital rights and digital inclusion advocacy – and intervention efforts – in Africa. This way, we help improve the quality of reporting on digital rights and inclusion by improving the expertise of reporters who cover the beat,” Alabi said.
Meanwhile, the 7th Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum is scheduled to hold in Lagos. Convened by Paradigm Initiative, the Forum will host some 300 delegates from across Africa and the world. The delegates will, between April 23 and 25, assess the state of digital rights and inclusion in Africa with the aim of finding solutions to identified challenges.