The Zambian government has launched the first-ever media development policy as approved by the cabinet during its 17th meeting (continuation) in July 2020.
Speaking at the launch of the media development policy and the government communication policy, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services who is also Chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya says, “the media development policy sets out Government’s vision and mission to promote freedom of expression by guaranteeing press freedom”.
Siliya adds that the policy is anchored on four main pillars namely: media freedom, media pluralism, media independence and safety of journalists.
“In this regard, the policy seeks to achieve the internationally agreed media development indicators namely: freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity of the media, professional and infrastructural capacity building and support institutions that underpin freedom of expression and media as a platform for democratic discourse,” she says.
The Minister further says that the time has come where the media should not only be seen as an issue of the pen and notebook but critically as a true business and economic engine of the country adding that government wants to see this giant of an industry wake up and play its full and rightful role in national development.
The MISA Zambia Chairperson has commended the government on the launch of the two policies. Speaking during the launch of the July-September 2020 state of the media report launch, Hellen Mwale expressed happiness at the launch of the two policies but warned against using the policies to gag the media.
“We would like to urge you to exercise impartiality and professionalism in the implementation of the media development policy and not use it to intimidate the media”, she says.
Cabinet during its 17th meeting approved the media development policy, government communication policy and the Media council Bill among other policies.