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» 04.05.2006 - Government guarantees greater freedom of press in Cape Verde

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Cape Verde

"Cape Verde enjoys press freedom"

afrol News / A Semana, 3 May - The president of the Cape Verdean Association of Journalists (AJOC), Paulo Lima, told 'A Semana Online' today, on World Press Freedom Day, that freedom of the press is on the right path in the archipelago. International press freedom groups agree. The World Press Freedom Day is being marked by AJOC with a cycle of seminars in Praia, the capital.

According to Paulo Lima, the proof that freedom of the press is "on the right path" in Cape Verde is the number of new media outlets that have sprung up, particularly private radio stations. "The Internet panorama has begun to change as well. As far as legislation is concerned, one major gain last year was the regulation of professional cards, which is expected to go into effect this year."

Regarding constraints on freedom of the press in Cape Verde, AJOC's president points towards the need for better training for journalists. "We believe that the emergence of new media will only have an effect on freedom of the press if there is also simultaneously more education for journalists," he stressed.

Another concern is related to the need to update legislation regulating journalism in Cape Verde, as well as the functioning of editorial councils. "Although they are mentioned in the law, editorial councils have not yet begun working," Mr Lima told 'A Semana'.

Also the Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontičres (RSF), which today launched its annual global report, agrees that "on the whole, freedom of expression was in good shape in Cape Verde." According to RSF, the government and society at large is becoming "more and more aware of the importance of the role the press plays."

As the Cape Verdean government discusses the possibility of declaring Crioulo an official language on par with Portuguese, the country's journalists today are marking the occasion of World Press Freedom Day to present a seminar on "Journalism and the Cape Verdean language," to be given by Maria de Lurdes Lima, a professor at the Praia Higher Institute of Education (ISE).

Other themes of importance to journalists, such as recent changes in legislation on the press in Cape Verde and the selection of AJOC's representative for the government commission charged with elaborating the criteria for the attribution of professional cards for journalists, will be discussed as well.

World Press Freedom Day will also be an opportunity to present the book 'Títulos das Notícias', by Mário Pinto and Wlodzimierz Jósef Szymaniak, in Praia's Jean Piaget University, and for AJOC president Paulo Lima to participate in Rádio de Cabo Verde's live radio programme 'Discurso Directo' to debate issues related to freedom of the press in the country.

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