Ethical Journalism Network launches Online Copyright Course for African Journalists

Dorothy Byrne, Chair of the EJN Board of Trustees
Dorothy Byrne, Chair of the EJN Board of Trustees

Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), in partnership with the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and Thomson Foundation, with funding from the Norwegian-based Kopinor Licensing agency has launched a free online copyright course for African Journalists.

The launch of this free online course is the first stage of this campaign and part of the Ethical Journalism Network’s wider work in Africa, which over the last year has focused around the Turing the Page of Hate Campaign to help media respond to hate speech and targeted interventions around key elections in Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria.

The new training module is to help journalists in Africa become more aware of their rights and responsibilities in terms of copyright and explains the practical steps that journalists can take to protect their own rights and make sure they respect the rights of others.

Copyright issues have been found to be one of the many challenges facing African journalists and therefore the problem of journalists keeping control of their rights, especially online, is often obscured by other pressing matters such as job security, low pay and press freedom.

The course is based on interviews with Ghanaian journalists, editors and lawyers, at an event to raise awareness about copyright issues in African media alongside UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in Accra in May. It also draws on expertise from renowned Kenyan journalist, Salim Amin, the chairman of Camerapix, one of Africa’s leading photo agencies.

The journalists, editors, media owners and lawyers at the EJN meeting on May 1, 2018 in Accra agreed that the relentless breaches of journalists’ copyright are doing serious “economic damage” to news organisations in Ghana and called for a campaign to raise awareness of authors’ and journalists’ rights in Africa.

The course aims to make journalist understand copyrights, the importance and the need to safeguard it as well as learned practical tips to help journalists maintain their own copyright.