Commonwealth, Media and Elections

Commonwealth, Media and Elections
3 May 2018, 6.00pm - 8.00pm
The Court Room, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

One of the modern Commonwealth's great strengths has been its long experience of election observation, in support of the Commonwealth's commitment to democracy and good governance in its member states. In these teams' final reports, assessment of the media landscape and access to information have always featured. This panel discussion will consider the media landscapes of the two African 'powerhouses' in the Commonwealth, South Africa and Nigeria, in the run up to their national elections in 2019. Pressure on the media has been described as 'the canary in the gold mine' for erosion of democracy and civic rights.  Should early warning mechanisms be set in place long in advance of the arrival of Commonwealth observation teams? Is this possible in South Africa and Nigeria?  If so, what forms should these take? 

Martin Plaut, Senior Research Fellow ICWS, and former BBC World Service Africa Editor
Kayode Samuel, former government official in Nigeria and a visiting fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.
Martin Kasirye, Head, Election Support Section, Commonwealth Secretariat 

Chair: Dr Sue Onslow Acting Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies 


Olga Jimenez
020 7862 8871