Media freedom a cornerstone of democracy – Hellen Mwale

Media freedom a cornerstone of democracy – Hellen Mwale

MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale says media freedom is the cornerstone of every democracy as it enables citizens to enjoy their rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

Speaking during the launch of the State of the Media in Zambia – 2Q 2018, Ms Mwale says the media plays an imperative role in shaping public opinion and informing the public on various issues.

In a speech read for her by the Vice Chairperson Hyde Haguta, Ms Mwale notes that the media also assists citizens in making informed decisions by providing them with information about the actions and opinions of their duty holders.

She further says journalism is one of the professions that is most exposed to threats adding that this constitutes not only a threat to the profession, but also to freedom of expression, and democracy.

Ms Mwale observes that the media has constantly received threats by political party players including state agents without reasonable cause when they are merely carrying out their duties.

She explains that this lack of regard for the rule of law by those who are supposed to enforce the law affects media performance as this breeds fear among journalists for their safety in their line of duties.

About MISA Zambia

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.