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New Dawn for Media Regulation and Content Moderation in East Africa

New Dawn for Media Regulation and Content Moderation in East Africa

Media regulators in East Africa have called for enhanced collaborations in safeguarding media freedom in the region.

Heads of media councils in the region who spoke at the launch of the East Africa Press Councils (EAPC)  at the East African Community (EAC) in Arusha today concurred on the need to leverage the power of the media in pushing the economic block’s ideals.

The EAPC has been established following the successful working relations established among media regulators in the region, bringing together regulators and media development agencies from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.

The association will, among others, promote and protect free, independent, professional, and accountable media in East Africa, media pluralism and diversity and strengthen and promote independent media regulatory bodies in East Africa. It will also create awareness and promote self-regulation as well as  create a platform for media regulatory bodies to share experiences and exchange information on emerging issues in media regulation.

East African Community Secretary General Dr Peter Mathuki said independent media remains critical in ensuring social justice, rule of law, accountability and protection of human rights.

He added that the right to information and freedom of expression are protected by national constitutions and other international instruments, adding that the role of media regulators was more critical now than ever.

“When media regulators come together in an effort to promote press freedom I believe great strides will be made. The EAC views media as a major partner in the integration process as it is the media that informs the society on matters of integration besides setting the agenda”, said Dr Mathuki in a speech read on his behalf by EAC’s Director of Social Sectors Dr Irene Isaka.

He also called for more trainings for media workers on integration to enable them understand the processes and report objectively on the Community’s four pillars.

EAPC Chairman and Executive Director of the Media Council of Tanzania Mr Kajubi Mukajanga described the launch as a milestone in media regulation in the region.

“The launch of the East Africa Press Councils is a dream come true for joint media regulation in East Africa.  EAPC embraces the spirit of the East African Community in upholding the community’s epitomes through the media”, he said.

EAPC Secretary and Media Council of Kenya CEO Mr David Omwoyo said the universality in ethical practices across countries calls for joint collaborations in media regulation and content moderation in East Africa.

He urged media players in the region to adopt innovative ways to counter the effects of digital revolution.

The Director of Information Services and Tanzania’s Chief Government Spokesperson Mobhare Matinyi termed the formation of the EAPC “a great step towards cementing regional integration in all aspects”.

The launch as succeeded by the inaugural East Africa Media Summit where the region’s media experts deliberated on the impact of technology on the future of professional journalism.

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