60th World Newspapers Congress & 14th World Editors Forum CapeTown,South Africa June 2-6 ,2007 President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar,the only delegate from Pakistan

The four day 60th World Newspapers Congress (WAN) and 14th World Editors Forum concluded in Cape Town, South Africa on 6th June. It was attended by more than 1,600 editors, publishers and media personnel from 109 countries.

The President of the Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP), Ehsan Ahmed Sehar, was among the participants, as a guest of the World Editors Forum.

The South African President, Thabo Mbeki, opened the Congress in the International Convention Centre, Cape Town. Nine sessions of the Forum and five business sessions of the Congress were held in the Centre on the overall subject of Shaping the Future of Newspapers and Quality Journalism in the Digital Age.

Media experts from the United States, Britain, France, Europe and Africa spoke during these sessions and the Vice President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, answered participant’s questions.

The Founder of The Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, did not attend due to illness, but a short video in which he addressed the conference was shown at the conference dinner.

Source: Ehsan Ahmed Sehar 10 June 2007


Bill Keller addressing Annual Press Freedom Roundtable

Press Freedom in Africa – the key to good governance and development

The Annual Press Freedom Roundtable was held under the auspices of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) on 3rd June 2007 in the International Convention Centre Cape Town, South Africa.

The press freedom roundtable turned the spotlight on obstacles to the development of a viable and powerful press in Africa and the panelists –

Azubuike Ishiekwene, Executive Director Publications Punch Nigeria Limited
Kwame Karikari, Executive Director, NAFEO and Media Foundation for West Africa, Ghana
Pius Njawe, Publisher Le Messager, Cameroon
Edtaen Ojo, Executive Director Media Rights Agenda Nigeria
Jeanette Minnie, International Freedom of Expression and Media Consultant,
Zambezi FoX, South Africa
Raymond Louw, Editor and Publisher. Southern Africa Report
Bill Keller, Executive Editor The New York Times USA

explained why press freedom remains a key to the establishment of good governance and durable economic, political, social and cultural development, prosperity and peace.

The panelists stated that if any continent needed a strong free and independent press to act as a watchdog over public institutions, it would be Africa where so many problems coincide – corruption, famine, poverty, violent conflict, disease and lack of education. Yet in country after country the press is crippled by a panoply of repressive measures, from the jailing and persecution of journalists to the widespread scourge of insult laws and criminal defamation which are used ruthlessly by governments to prevent critical appraisal of their performance and to deprive the public of information about their misdemeanours.

Panelist Bill Keller, Executive Editor, The New York Times, also highlighted his experiences and African governments’ role toward freedom of press during his stay in Johannesburg as Bureau Chief of The Times.


Peter Fenilherade BBC, Ehsan Ahmed Sehar and French delegate

The President of the Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) Ehsan Ahmed Sehar presented his report about the state of press freedom in South Asia and copies of RMNP free FOE newsletter to panelists and other editors.

The Roundtable lasted for four hours. A question and answer session was also conducted by the panelists.

More than three hundred participants representing 105 countries including Sylviee Coudray, Senior Programme Specialist UNESCO, attended the Annual Press Freedom Roundtable.

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