The Media Self Regulation Insaka has overwhelmingly resolved to adopt a statutory self-regulatory framework.
The two day conference which drew participation from over 250 media personnel drawn from across the country resolved to back a self regulation by statute framework.
This means that Zambian journalists will come up with a constitution of their own with ethical codes of conduct which will be tabled in Parliament to strengthen and protect their profession.
Experts from South Africa and Kenya helped the local Journalists to come up with their decision after interrogating the models in those countries.
The Journalists said the move is important as it will avoid a return to past attempts at self-regulation which were ineffective.
Below is the full communique
COMMUNIQUE FROM THE MEDIA REGULATION INSAKA HELD AT THE GOLDEN PEACOCK HOTEL FROM MAY 9 TO 10, 2019.
Lusaka, May 10, 2019
WE, the journalists and media owners gathered here at the Media Regulation Insaka held in Lusaka,
Having listened and deliberated on the matters at hand, namely adoption of a preferred mode of media regulation for Zambia;
Having considered the history of media regulation in Zambia post- independence and the various efforts at media regulation through MECOZ and ZAMEC, and having considered the interests from government and the members of public on the need for professionalism and improved role of the media in providing fair and balanced coverage;
Having considered the various interests of various media players, namely media owners, community media, online media and mainstream media;
Having studied the various media models as exist in other countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, among others;
Having noted and discussed that there are various media regulation models available for Zambia to choose, namely self-regulation model, statutory regulation model and a new hybrid of media regulation known as ‘co-regulation’;
Do here by say that we have unanimously agreed that we adopt a statutory self-regulation model as it suits our prevailing media environment in Zambia;
That the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) be revived and its statutes improved to take into consideration the interests of its members and partners;
That ZAMEC be recognised as law, as the body in charge of media regulation in Zambia under the auspices of the Media Liaison Committee.
That ZAMEC be funded from its members and other partners that subscribe to the interests and ideals of ZAMEC;
That the already existing Technical Committee continues to engage with the government and donors to actualise this decision by this Golden Peacock Insaka, and that at an opportune time and within the said Three (3) months report back to this Insaka the progress made of actualising this media self-regulation model;
That the refined ZAMEC document shall be ready after the three months period, and that a general meeting shall be called to ratify the document after which it shall then be drafted into a bill;
And that Media Owners and any other stakeholders that are willing to work together with the technical committee are welcome to do so.
Thank you very much.
Conference Chairperson and Media Liaison Committee Chairperson (Members of the Technical Working Groups: BBC Media Action, Misa Zambia, Panos Institute Southern Africa, ZAMWA, ZUBID, ZUJ, Bloggers of Zambia, ZIIMA, IFP, Zambian Bloggers Network, Mthoniswa Banda Ltd, Suma Systems and Media Network on Child Rights and Development), Editor’s forum, Lusaka Press Club, PAZA.