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Cabinet Approves Bill For Regulation Of Journalists

Cabinet has approved the introduction of a Zambia Council for Journalists Bill in Parliament to provide for the establishment of a self-regulatory professional body for journalists.

Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya stated in a statement on the outcome of the 17th Cabinet Meeting called by President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday that the approval came as a result of complaints by some stakeholders that the habit of allowing anyone to practice journalism cannot continue to go unchallenged.

Ms Siliya, who is also information and broadcasting services minister, said the establishment of the Zambia Council for Journalists will provide a legal framework for the journalism profession to thrive.

“Cabinet further approved in principle, to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to provide for the establishment of a self-regulatory professional body for journalists,” she said.

“There is a great desire among the stakeholders to save the credibility of the media. The establishment of the Zambia Council for Journalists will provide a legal framework for the journalism profession to thrive making it more effective and efficient. Journalists will have confidence in their work considering that they are protected and further, it will protect the profession and ensure that there is professional reporting especially with the advent of social media. The legislation will provide for soberness and sanity by the journalists.”

The minister said Cabinet also approved the Media Development Policy in order to deal with the challenges that are constraining the development of the media industry in Zambia.

Siliya said the media industry has grown significantly and continues to do so as a result of liberalisation.

“With this growth, comes attendant challenges that must be tackled through a comprehensive Policy framework. Challenges such as inadequate regulation, inadequate skills among media practitioners as well as inadequate media development-related infrastructure. It has become necessary to ensure a well-coordinated approach in the sector. Further, with the advent of the electronic media, the need for appropriate regulation and capacity building is cardinal for the growth of the sector,” she said.

“Cabinet also approved the National Information Communication Policy and its Implementation Plan. The Policy aims at among other things, to address the challenges that Government is currently facing as regards intra-government communication and communication with the public in order to enhance information flow from Government to the members of the general public and from the members of the general public to the Government. The Policy also addresses the irresponsible use of social media.”

Meanwhile, the minister said Cabinet approved in principle, the introduction of a Bill in Parliament in order to establish the Professional Film Makers Guild of Zambia that will organise and govern the activities of actors and film makers and introduce mechanisms that will monitor quality of films.

Siliya said the film industry not only provided a means for cultural preservation, but also had the potential to significantly contribute to national development.

The minister said it was for this reason that Cabinet approved the National Film Policy on 19th May, 2017 adding that the proposed piece of legislation is, therefore, expected to provide a platform which will organise and govern the activities of actors and film makers as well as monitoring the quality of films.

Siliya further disclosed that Cabinet also approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the Teaching Profession Act Number 5 of 2013.

“To wind up debate for the day, Cabinet approved in principle, the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the Teaching Profession Act Number 5 of 2013 in order to redefine the mandates, roles and functions of the Council and the Standards, Evaluation and Assessment Section of the Ministry of General Education and further, harmonize them so as to enhance cost effectiveness, efficiency, and quality in the education service delivery,” she said.

 

12 Comments

  1. Wezzy

    This will just encourage corruption as gvt will have control over this media Body😒

    Reply
  2. Mwenya

    Technology has changed. Move with times. I can set up a YouTube Chanel and review any of the articles on the news.

    Governments can’t control information flow anymore.
    Learn to change/move with times.

    Reply
    • Mwenya Tell them

      Trying to control media in this age is a waste of time and energy. Try and arrest anyone publishing on the internet from Mongolia and see if Kampyongo will have the money to investigate. No. Journalists cant be licenced like doctors

      Reply
  3. Lackson

    Time wasting for gedt.

    Reply
  4. Chendabusiku

    What obtains in developed countries? Are we benchmarking or reinventing the wheel? Even in so called developed democracies there is some form of order and civility. With the advent of the fake or false news, there is need for these messengers of news to self regulate otherwise we will end up in a jungle like set up. Medical doctors, Engineers, lawyers etc all have to register to practice and have associations to regulate themselves. Someone must show cause why our messengers of information must not regulate themselves or belong to some form of sane organization to ensure that they write nothing but the truth and not hear say only.

    Reply
    • Sinatra

      Go check the American media scene. You can publish anything anytime as long as you arent breaking the law. There is no specific law targetting news media like you are trying to do in Zambia

      Reply
  5. Mayowaluse

    What do you expect from corrupt journalists turned politicians. They are preoccupied with covering their “backsides” than being transparent and accountable.

    Reply
  6. Abena kafue

    Kikiki vavuta after bill 10 failure.

    Reply
  7. Razor

    Here comes the bill to muzzle the press as we go towards elections.

    Reply
  8. Frank Chombela

    This is a snooper’s charter. Only Robert Mugabe did this sort of thing in the region. But look wht Zimbabwe has since become.

    Reply
  9. Just do it

    Useless agenda to control the media towards the election, but govt doesnt realise that we live in a global village.. We have social media now..

    Reply
  10. Monko wokwatila

    It is not a self regulation. It is government wanting to sneak in and control press freedom. Look at the journalists who are in government cant you see how they have become tyrants? Thats is just how most journalists are.
    What will stop an oppressor who is promised a top job or who is bribed by the ruling party from oppressing his fellow journalists?

    Reply

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