Social media has become an integral part of journalism in African countries. Some of these countries have repressive media laws, while others progressive legislative environments. How does social media and media freedom intersect in these diverse environments?
Sandra Roberts, frayintermedia’s head of research, will present the findings on recent research conducted about social media usage in Africa on an upcoming WAN-IFRA webinar. The webinar that will be held on 22 September 2017, will cover findings from a pilot study called “African Journalists on Social Media: Harassment or Freedom?”.
The study found that social media are a significant toolset for journalists across Africa, with the majority of African journalists (89%) required to be on social media as part of their jobs. Ninety-five per cent of journalists said that they used social media for professional purposes. The most used platform was Facebook with 96% of journalists using it, this was followed by WhatsApp (93%) and Twitter (89%).
Social media may be useful for journalists, but many were harassed and silenced via social media. Both men and women were harassed, with more men harassed than women. Journalists were most likely to be trolled, but were also verbally harassed, threatened, sexually harassed, impersonated, or had their personal details published.
This webinar will discuss the research report, and the experiences of African journalists on social media, challenges they face, and what the implications are for media freedom.
The research will be the first of an annual series and frayintermedia is looking for in-country partners to assist in future studies.