- Goal Diggers
- Guest Diggers
ATI Bill will be enacted by end of 2019 – KasoloBy Thomas Mulenga on 15 Mar 2019
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo says free media is a prerequisite for democracy and in order to to promote media freedom, government is going to enact the Access to Information Bill before the end of 2019.
And Free Press Initiative founder Joan Chirwa says FPI will champion freedom of the press and professionalism through dialogue and the organisation will also offer refresher courses to serving journalists in order to remind them of professional ethics.
Speaking when he officiated at the launch of Free Press Initiative, an organisation aimed at championing media freedom, Kasolo promised to enact the ATI Bill before the end of 2019.
“Government remains committed to the enactment of the Access to Information Bill but the introduction of Digital Media which saw us migrate from analogue to digital, we realised that enacting the bill into law in the old form in which it was written would make it archaic as it does not cover the electronic media. There are must be other pieces of legislation that must be put in place before the Access to Information Bill. And we are working very hard to ensure that before the end of the year, all the relevant legislations including the Access to Information Bill are passed. My minister is very committed and she will push for all these legislations,” Kasolo said.
Kasolo welcomed the formation of FPI.
“In the days when we have been having Radio stations being suspended or licenses being withdrawn and even one TV station was suspended for 30 days, it is important for us to realise that we at the ministry including our sister organisation where madam Josephine Mapoma is a very able leader, we just do the job and the job has to be done correctly. And to that instance what we have decided is that we are going to publish the entire history of that TV station that was closed. I think it’s only fair that we are judged fairly by people going through exactly what we have done with that TV station, from over a year ago, and then people can make informed judgment. I can assure you, we did everything to the book. To founders of this (FPI), I can assure you that the free press is a prerequisite to functioning democracy because of the role that the media plays in society. We will consult with you very closely whilst we are trying to put regulations for media and journalists into place. We have only started writing this, but we need as many professional journalists as possible to put input into this because this is your legislation,” said Kasolo.
“The IBA is there to help you stay within the law. I know one TV station such as Diamond TV, they continuously consult IBA and therefore it is very unlikely to get on the wrong side of the law. But the vast majority of TV stations and Radio stations, they don’t even consult, they just go ahead and broadcast, they even forget what they signed up for when applying for their licenses. So with your coming FPI, you are going to add value to what you are doing, so I really welcome your coming.”
And Chirwa said her organisation would champion freedom of the press and professionalism through dialogue, adding that FPI would also be offering refresher courses to serving journalists in order to remind them of professional ethics.
“The FPI is committed to finding new means of engaging government whenever concerns are raised affecting journalists. Both Journalists and government must allow dialogue to prevail whenever differences arise. In the next few months, the FPI will not only work on mentoring young people in higher learning institutions on best practices and survival skills, but also mobilise resources to help train vulnerable persons who have a calling to this noble profession. We will also provide bridging courses to graduate students, gradual journalists, while those practicing will be targeted for retraining in line with our goal of getting to the basics. As we head towards the 2021 elections, the FPI will intensify training and discussions among media personnel on how to offer a balanced and fair coverage of all parties involved in our democratic process,” said Chirwa.
“It is also a known fact that the harassment of journalists continue to be on the rise, not only in Zambia but in many other countries. This has contributed to making the work of the media difficult. Our country does not only need the unity of the media practitioners to fight these injustices journalists have been subjected to, but they also need the assurance of their government that it is ready to stand with the media by providing necessary protection upon which a free and professional media can thrive.”
About Thomas Mulenga
Thomas Mulenga has a special interest in political news, current affairs, community and education news.
- Registrar of Societies playing foolish politics – NAREP - 31 May 2019
- Lungu committed to delivering health care services – Chilufya - 31 May 2019
- Austerity measures a sham – Kambwili - 31 May 2019
- NAREP opposes cancellation of agricultural shows in 3 provinces - 30 May 2019
- Kang’ombe’s victory in Sesheke petition a lesson to PF – UPND - 30 May 2019
- It’s inhuman for Chanda to undermine HH’s donation of soap, sanitisers – UPND (3,218 views)
- Is Kampyongo suggesting that slim people, like his appointing authority are HIV suspects? (2,697 views)
- UPND blames Nangula loss on COVID-19 (2,225 views)
- Kampyongo's mockery of people on ARVs unacceptable - NAC (2,130 views)
- We’re considering asking landlords to forego rentals amid COVID-19 – Siliya (1,590 view)
- COVID-19 is airborne? Why is Ministry of Health misleading us?
- Is Kampyongo suggesting that slim people, like his appointing authority are HIV suspects?
- We’re already on lockdown – Lungu
- Introduce SI to stop landlords from collecting rentals, Changala urges govt
- Why whip patrons if there's no lockdown?
Subscribe for news email alerts
ArchivesMay0 PostsJun0 PostsJul0 PostsAug0 PostsSep0 PostsOct0 PostsNov0 PostsDec0 Posts
- «April 2020»
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- It’s illegal for police to whip citizens – Mweetwa
- UNZA owes ZRA, others K2.8bn, as audit reveals mismanagement of funds
- PF’s Nangula victory a 2021 sample – Mundubile
- Tutwa refutes UPND’s Bill 10 bribery claims
- We’re considering asking landlords to forego rentals amid COVID-19 – Siliya
- Govt, FRA’s deal with millers failed to cut mealie meal prices – IAPRI
- Habitat urges govt to improve living conditions in unplanned settlements
- SACCORD hails PF, UPND for peaceful Nangula poll
- ZRA’s tax audit on media houses within its mandate but wrongly timed – MISA
- Kamusoko, Mangani on path to recovery
- Govt must carry out robust awareness campaign against COVID-19 – CSPR
- Siwale welcomes FIFA’s intervention in FAZ wrangles
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
[search_popup]Send this to a friend