19th September 2018
By Tom Law

Press Release: Online Copyright Course Launched for African Journalists

Online Copyright Course Launched for African Journalists

19 September 2018

Dakar – London – Oslo

A new free online training course to help journalists in Africa become more aware of their rights and responsibilities in terms of copyright has launched today by the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), in partnership with the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) and Thomson Foundation, with funding from the Norwegian-based Kopinor Licensing agency.

Access the course here: Copyright: How to protect it, how not to breach it.

Copyright issues are one of the many challenges facing African journalists and therefore the problem of journalists keeping control of their rights, especially online, is often obscured by other pressing matters such as job security, low pay and press freedom.

However, as the new course explains, there are many practical steps that journalists and newsrooms can take to protect their own rights and make sure that they respect the rights of others.

The course, launched on International Media Ethics Day, is based on interviews with Ghanaian journalists, editors and lawyers, at an event to raise awareness about copyright issues in African media alongside UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in Accra in May. It also draws on expertise from renowned Kenyan journalist, Salim Amin, the chairman of Camerapix, one of Africa’s leading photo agencies.

The journalists, editors, media owners and lawyers at the EJN meeting on May 1 in Accra agreed that the relentless breaches of journalists’ copyright is doing serious “economic damage” to news organisations in Ghana and called for a campaign to raise awareness of authors’ and journalists’ rights in Africa.

The launch of this free online course is the first stage of this campaign and part of the Ethical Journalism Network’s wider work in Africa, which over the last year has focused around the Turing the Page of Hate Campaign to help media respond to hate speech and targeted interventions around key elections in Kenya, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Access the course here: Copyright: How to protect it, how not to breach it.


Tom Law – Director of Campaigns and Communications – Ethical Journalism Network (EJN)
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +447594270633

Gabriel Baglo – General Secretary – Federation of African Journalists (FAJ)
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +221776442361


Below please find:

  1. Biographies and quotes from the author and contributors.
  2. An overview of the subjects covered in the course.
  3. Background about the Ethical Journalism Network, Federation of African Journalists, Thomson Foundation and Kopinor.


Bios and Quotes from the Author and Contributors to the Course:

Chris Elliott – EJN Director

Chris Elliott is Director of the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), a global coalition of major media professional groups that promotes ethics, good governance and self-regulation of journalism across all platforms of media. Chris has worked on numerous publications including the Sunday Telegraph, the Sunday Correspondent and The Times in UK.  After 10 years as the Guardian’s managing editor, he became the readers’ editor. He was also a trustee and board director of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

“Every day the issue of copyright is debated in newsrooms across the world as the digital age makes it so much easier to copy material at the touch of a mouse. Therefore understanding the law of copyright is even more important for a journalist today.”

Whether you are a staff or freelance journalist, working in text or pictures, if you follow the course, watch these videos and do the exercises you will be better prepared to protect your own material and respect the material of others.  Hopefully you will also be inspired to do more research on the issue of copyright in your organisation and country.”

Watch Chris introduce the course in this video

Gabriel Baglo – General Secretary of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ)

Gabriel Baglo worked as a journalist in Togo, later as Secretary General of Togo Union of Journalists, before he joined the IFJ in 2000 as West Africa Coordinator of the Media for Democracy Programme, and became IFJ Africa Director.

“The issue of copyright in the media has been hard to address in Africa. Litigation can take over a decade to get cases heard and redressed in court. Journalists often only see copyright as an issue that affects only artists or fiction writers. We hope that this course will help change that misapprehension and enable our members and other journalists in Africa to find practical ways to protect their rights and ensure that they receive adequate compensation when their work is used by others.”

Salim Amin – Journalist

Salim Amin is Chairman of Camerapix, founder and Chairman of The Mohamed Amin Foundation. He is a member of the Ethical Journalism Network’s board of trustees.

Suchandrika Chakrabarti – Journalist and Trainer

Suchandrika Chakrabarti is a freelance journalist, producer and trainer with 12 years’ experience working in multimedia journalism. She was most recently Editorial Trainer at Trinity Mirror (now Reach Plc). Now, she’s a guest lecturer for Press Association Training, Goldsmiths and Journalism.co.uk, and writes for New Statesman, Film Daily and other publications.

Korieh Duodu – Barrister qualified in England and Ghana.

Korieh Duodu is the principal of Egality Law, a corporate law firm specialising in intellectual property, media and commercial law. Korieh has been in practice for twenty years and previously worked at the Guardian newspaper. He has acted for Vice News, the Independent and Telegraph newspapers, as well as for a variety of journalists, authors and bloggers. Korieh has particular expertise in advising investigative journalists and campaigning organisations in relation to issues concerning environmental destruction and corruption. He is a co-author of a leading defamation textbook, Defamation, Law Procedure and Practice, and Clerk & Lindsell on Torts.

In Duodu’s article for the EJN’s recent Trust in Ethical Journalism report he wrote:

“It is, of course, impossible to generalise about the experience of African journalists. A writer in Ethiopia or Gambia may have more pressing concerns than whether someone is copying their articles. Africa’s patchwork of states neighbour those that engage in human rights abuses against journalists next to others enjoying diverse and free media. A common denominator, nevertheless, is the challenge journalists face in seeking to monetise their work, in the digital age of rampant abuse of copyright.

One key issue that has not been sufficiently analysed is the almost complete breakdown in literary copyright recognition, protection and enforcement across the African continent. Quite apart from the blatant and unethical copying of one journalist’s work by another, a more sinister force is at play.”

Ajoa Yeboah-Afari – Former chair of the Editors’ Forum, Ghana

“Africa media is in dire need of guidelines when it comes to copyright and understanding fair attribution. In the most brazen way, online news portals make use of work without due credit or attribution.”

Ebo Hawkson – Reporter for the Daily Graphic, Ghana.


Course Overview 

Section One: – The course begins by looking at copyright law and what it means for journalists.

Section Two:  The rights journalists have over original material:

  • How to maintain copyright.
  • How to track text and pictures online if you think someone has used your work without permission or attribution.
  • How to watermark images so that it is more difficult to use them without permission.

Section Three:  Responsibilities to others and their rights:

  • How to respect the copyright when referring to the work of other journalists.
  • How to work within the law when using someone else’s material
  • When do you need to pay for material

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand copyright and why it is important to do everything you can to safeguard it.
  • Learned practical tips to help journalists maintain their own copyright.

Access the course here: Copyright: How to protect it, how not to breach it.

Ethical Journalism Network


The Ethical Journalism Network aims to strengthen the craft of journalism and to promote for the public benefit high ethical standards in journalism, based on principles of truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity and accountability by the provision of education and training of journalists and the publication of useful research.

Related resources from the Ethical Journalism Network



This course is part of the Ethical Journalism Network’s programme to improve the knowledge and awareness of authors rights in Africa, supported by Kopinor – the Norwegian collecting agency that represents copyright holders of published works through 22 member organisations.

Federation of Africa Journalists (FAJ)


The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) is a confederation of journalists unions and associations and represents more than 50,000 journalists in Africa. It addresses the professional and social rights and interests of the members in all media sectors, including electronic, broadcast and print, and those working as reporters, presenters, producers, freelancers or editors at national, regional and international levels.

Thomson Foundation

http://www.thomsonfoundation.org/ / http://www.thomsonfoundation.org/e-learning/

Thomson Foundation has been helping raise standards of journalism and communication around the globe through training, consultancy and strategic advice since 1962. With the launch of Journalism Now in November 2018, Thomson Foundation has extended its ability to engage with journalists using online tools offering online training to thousands of journalists.

Journalism Now is a series of online interactive courses designed and led by industry experts and partners like the Ethical Journalism Network providing the latest in digital and multimedia skills. The global learning environment gives exclusive access to live training and mentoring sessions, run by leading journalists, and a unique knowledge-sharing platform.

Our online portal allows alumni and all course participants to interact and share new knowledge and information with our experts and fellow journalists.

Access the course here: Copyright: How to protect it, how not to breach it.