APC interviewed Wellington Radu, Head of Programmes at Media Monitoring Africa, and a participant in the African School on Internet Governance, which took place between 21-26 November 2014 in Mauritius.
Wellington Radu is Head of Programmes at Media Monitoring Africa. He is interested in information and communication technologies, human rights and sustainable development.
APC: Why did you decide to join the African School on Internet Governance?
Wellington Radu: While the future cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty, global trends indicate that the future will be digital, local and personal. As such, I would like to contribute to how we respond to the challenges brought by these changes, especially in the area of media monitoring.
APC: Tell us about media monitoring in Africa
W.R: Media monitoring in general is key to a democratic society. Building and sustaining democracy needs active participation by the people in democratic processes, and part of this is fulfilled by the media, how people interact with it, and media’s power to hold those in power accountable.
APC: In the area of media monitoring, what would you highlight as the most significant findings in the region?
W.R: One of the greatest findings is a significant change in the way media operate, especially as news rooms are cut down and resources pumped into media are very little. There used to be a lot of reporting that was biased in the 90s, but there was a lot of reporting, whereas now there is a lot of cutting down.
Regarding the role of media in election monitoring, media is struggling in terms of having their agenda determined by political powers. They struggle to provide readers with informed news in order to help them make informed decisions.
This is why Media Monitoring has developed tools to help the media report better, like Wazimap.org.za, Newstools.co.za. These have been developed as a result of years of monitoring and identifying the challenges ahead.