MISA Zambia launches State of the Media Reports
MISA Zambia Chairperson Helen Mwale says her organisation will not relent in the fight and advocacy for media freedom in the country.
Speaking at the launch of the State of the Media in Zambia reports for the third and fourth quarter of 2017 at Cresta Golf View Hotel, Ms Mwale said media freedom is a prerequisite to Zambia’s development and the ability of citizens to participation in this agenda.
She however, noted that this can only happen if the media is allowed to operate freely.
In a speech read for Ms Mwale by her Vice Chairperson Hyde Haguta, explained the periods under review for the state of the media had seen a challenges even though the 3rd quarter saw a reduction in such incidents.
She further noted that this began to increase as the year was winding down.
The State of the Media in Zambia reports are an assessment of the media landscape in the country in relation to political, economic, technological and legal environment.
Highlights of the period under review were:
- Almost all Television stations were making serious efforts towards the switch from analogue to digital.
- Quarter 4 of 2017 continued with preparations and presented the switch-over from analogue to digital migration by televisions stations in the country on 1 October 2017 even though the switch-over did not cover the whole country. This is because parts of the country still required infrastructure and equipment to facilitate the migration.
- By the 3rd quarter the Access to Information Bill (ATI) had not yet been passed or availed to the members of the public even after promises in the 2nd quarter of the same year that the Bill was ready and would be made available and presented to the public by Minister of Justice Given Lubinda. Till date the ATI Bill has not yet been availed to the public.
- The 4th quarter however saw Parliament passing the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and Independent Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Bill 2017 to transfer collection and accounting of television levy from the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation to subscriber licence management system which was effected on 1 January 2018.
- The 3rd quarter recorded a comparative reduction in the number of media practitioners and media house harassments. In the 4th quarter however, Incidents of threats, intimidation and harassment of media practitioners and media houses continued unabated no lasting solution.