Journalism and the question of social responsibility in African countries. The need to integrate ethical and deontological values

Abstract

The history of some important crises, which have hit hard a certain number of young African democracies over the past years (Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, etc.), has shed some light on some journalistic practices in Africa. These practices have been often denounced because they were considered incompatible with basic values and principles of the profession. Journalism in Africa, which functions in difficult socio-economic environments, has become an open profession where anybody can claim to be a journalist. Thus, failures and drifts are quite frequent, sometimes accompanied by huge and catastrophic consequences. But, if journalism must play a key predominant role in developing societies, it is important to create first and foremost both a reliable political, economic, and institutional environment, and to make training – which was long considered irrelevant, if not useless – a priority.

AFRI 2008 Summary