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Anja Venth's blog

Malaria and Communication - Share your experiences and knowledge and questions

This is a general space for the Malaria Network to share experiences and knowledge around Malaria and Communication. Post information about your projects and campaigns, your events, as well as your research and evaluations here. Also, post your queries and questions around SBCC and malaria - there may be someone in the network who can assist.

The Role of Faith-based organisations

Faith-based organisations have an important role to play in reaching audiences with health messages and in providing a space to discuss issues such as reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, maternal health, child health, and the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting.

To find out what faith-based organisations are doing in Africa, go to

Please also use this forum to share your experiences, research and resources.

Resource for Journalists in Southern Africa

The Media Law Handbooks for Southern Africa, published by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Regional Media Programme, are intended to be a practical guide for journalists practicing in Southern Africa. The handbooks not only contain a comprehensive overview of applicable media laws (governing both the print and broadcast media) for each country reviewed, they also contain suggestions on possible law reforms to improve the protection of media in the countries under review. Volume 1 (published in July 2011) covered Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia, while Volume 2 (published in August 2013) covered the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. To find out more and to download these books, go to

Discussion on Creating a Democracy, Governance and Human Rights Network for Journalists in Africa

We are ready to launch our discussion on creating a democracy, governance and human rights network for journalists in Africa!

Just to recap, this online discussion will explore whether Africa needs a democracy, governance and human rights network for journalists, and if yes, how it would function and what purpose it would have. If the discussion is very much in favour of such a network, we are hoping that it can be used by organisations, who would like to be involved in creating such a network or be part of this network, to advocate for such a network and to possibly even develop a proposal to obtain funding for such an initiative.

The discussion is based around a recent poll featured on the Soul Beat Africa Democracy and Governance (D & G) themesite The poll received a great response and 89% of the votes were in favour of a governance, democracy, and human rights journalism network in Africa.

The discussion will seek to address the following issues: 1) Are you aware of such a network having been discussed or planned and why do you think there is no such network in Africa today? 2) Do you think Africa needs a D & G and human rights journalism network? What role do journalists and the media play in promoting democracy, governance and human rights in Africa? (sharing of projects and experiences) 3) As a journalist, media organisation, or NGO working in D & G, how could such a network strengthen the work that you are doing? 4) What function should this network have? 5) How should this network be set up? 6) What are some of the challenges of setting up a continental (or even regional) journalism network?

If you know of anyone who would be interested in joining this discussion, please forward this email to them. They can register here (select Soul Beat Africa Democracy and Governance Network).

Best wishes, Anja Venth, Editor, Soul Beat Africa

Join the Discussion: Creating Active Citizen in Africa - the Role of Media and Communication

As stated in a recent article about the elections in West Africa, one of the essential ingredients for a lively democracy are citizens that are schooled in democratic principles as this allows them to play an active role in protecting democracy against anti-democratic forces. (See "Senegal, Mali and Democracy: Lessons for West Africa’s New Democracies" by Oladayo Olaide from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) )

  • Firstly, do you agree?
  • What role are the media and other communication initiatives (eg.those using mass media campaigns, community media, interpersonal communication etc.) playing in promoting active citizens and by extension civic education in Africa? Let us know about your projects/activities or other projects you know about.
  • What has made some of these initiatives successful and what have been some of the challenges?
  • What else can and should be done by the media and communication practitioners working in the field of D & G to promote active citizens and successful civic education initiatives?

We would love to hear about your views, experiences, and ideas. Do you agree with the above statement? And what role are the media and communication initiatives playing in promoting active citizens and by extension civic education in Africa?

Please tick "Notify All Users" at the bottom of the comment form as this will ensure that an email notification is sent to all members of this network.

We look forward to your contributions.

Best wishes, Anja Venth Editor Soul Beat Africa

The Challenges and Successes in Gathering Malaria Communication Impact Data

Read about how Malaria No More goes about gathering evaluation data for its Nightwatch communication campaign. They talk about their methodology and highlight some of the challenges which include political challenges involved in choosing a site for a pilot study.

To read the submission, to comment, or to share your own experiences, go here You will need to log in. If you have forgotten your password you can request a new one from the log in form. If you have forgotten your username, please contact me at

Also, look out for the next issue of the Malaria Extra e-newsletter which goes out this weekend.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes, Anja

Earth Journalism Grants Fund

To the Soul Beat Africa Science and Media Network

I just wanted to alert you to the Earth Journalism Grants Fund. It was esablished by the Earth Journalism Network and is a small grants fund designed to invest in strategic opportunities for media development, build the capacities of local environmental journalism networks and their members, and support responses to communities’ environmental needs. A total of US$50,000 is available for the coming year to be divided among at least 5 projects. The deadline for application is November 7 2011.

For more information go to

Best wishes, Anja

Science and Media Workshop Announcement

Hi to all the members of the Science and Media Network,

I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Anja Venth, the Editor of Soul Beat Africa. I have been away on maternity leave but am now back at work. I will be taking over from Gail Smith who has been doing a great job in managing the Science and Media themesite and networking space in my absense. I would like to encourage everyone to please use this space to share your information, ask questions, and to discuss issues related to Science and Media in Africa. Also, use this space to post any questions you may have around the technical aspects of using this networking space. If you would like to get hold of me directly by email, you can do so at

I wanted to alert you to a workshop we just posted onto the Science and Media which you will find here The workshop is entitled "Science Meets the Media in Stellenbosch: How Scientists and Journalists Can Make a Difference in the Public Understanding of Science". It is being organised by the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University, in alliance with the Department of Science & Technology, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), and the South African National Editors’ Forum and takes place from November 21 - 25 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Deadline for applications is October 21 2011. For more information, go to

Many thanks, Anja

WHO Communication-for-Behavioural-Impact (COMBI) presentation

"WHO Communication-for-Behavioural-Impact (COMBI) in the field – an example of evaluation and research challenges" is attached for your review, comment, question and debate - thanks - Warren

ANDI Journalistic Coverage of Sexual Violence against Children in Brazil

ANDI - Communication Rights Agency - Brasil: Journalistic Coverage of Sexual Violence against Children in Brazil is attached for your review, critique, questions and comments - thanks - Warren

The Media Development Network