Journalists from all over Africa, plus a strong representation of Information Ministers, met in Kinshasa on Tuesday (19 November) to discuss the formation of an African Union of Journalists.
MV Mobutu arriving past crowd and into hall (2 shots)
MV PAN Delegates seated
MV Mobutu seated
MV Speakers and audience (3 shots)
MCU Mobutu listening
MVs Journalists making notes
MV Speaker and audience listening (3 shots)
Initials BB/1604 TH/DE/BB/1613
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Background: Journalists from all over Africa, plus a strong representation of Information Ministers, met in Kinshasa on Tuesday (19 November) to discuss the formation of an African Union of Journalists.
Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko was also present for the opening session.
Speakers during the first session stressed the need for a purely African press, less dependent on Western sources for its news and ideas, and for the education of its journalists.
Stress was also laid on the responsibilities and obligations of journalists towards African society as a whole.
SYNOPSIS: President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire lent his presence to a meeting which could have great importance for news and newsmen throughout the African continent. Gathered together at Kinshasas's Palais de la Nation on Tuesday were journalists from all over the continent, plus a strong representation of Information Ministers from several African countries. They were there to discuss the formation of an African Union of Journalists.
Speakers at the opening session tended to stress the wider moral issues at stake rather than the detailed structure of the union -- that was to come later. The audience, including President Mobutu, was told of the need for a purely African press, which would be less dependent upon Western sources for its news and ideas. The journalists present were also reminded of their responsibilities and obligations to African society as a whole.
Most black African countries were represented at the conference. And there were observers present from the Organisation of African Unity and from the United Nations. Formation of a journalists' union, they were told, would contribute further to the quest for a truly independent voice in Africa.