Project Aliyense

Zambia Monitor named winner of Advothon pitch targeting media freedom, digital rights


Zambia Monitor, a pan-African online multimedia newspaper has been named winner of a $10,000 pitch for an Advothon project that seeks to increase the ability of human rights defenders and media associations to carry out advocacy that demands digital rights, freedom of expression and media freedom in Zambia.

The Advothon is funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Open Spaces Zambia (OSZ) activity.

Internews, working with a local coordinating agency, MISA, broke the news in a letter to Zambia Monitor in which it acknowledged the project idea as outstanding and able to strengthen the democratic foundations of freedom of speech and assembly, as envisioned by the donors.

“The project aims to build independent and new media, safeguard a space for activists, Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), and contending voices to protect the democratic space in Zambia,” the organizers had noted.

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The announcement comes after months of a rigorous defense of the Zambia Monitor pitch titled, ‘Project Aliyense’.

“This is a multimedia digital advocacy project that seeks to advance the cause of media freedom, freedom of expression and digital rights in Zambia through the broad inclusion of diverse voices from across the country.

“We believe every voice counts and every voice should be amplified to advocate for media freedom in the country,” the news platform had outlined in its original submissions to the organizers.

The project execution would see Zambia Monitor accommodate voices from across the country, students in secondary schools and higher institutions, to toiling artisans in the shadows and respected opinion leaders, raising a chorus of voices as to inspire change for nation building.

Project Aliyense would take the form of audio-visual street interviews to articles and social media campaigns, and through its One Voice a Day initiative, would amplify media freedom issues, bridging law, access to information, resistance to legitimate enquiry, and the underlying universal principle of freedom of expression.

It would also incorporate cartoons, videos, pictures, infographics, audio, and text, all of which would be neatly interwoven to drive the message, broadening access and empowering stakeholders to be the key drivers of the advocacy.

Reacting to the award, the Managing Editor of Zambia Monitor, Maimbolwa Mulikelela said Project Aliyense speaks to the news organization’s editorial stance which notes that opinions are free, but that facts are sacred.

The award represents a major milestone for the young news platform, as it was won in its first year of existence.

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