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MLC Engages PS on Progress of Media Self-Regulation Bill

The Media Liaison Committee (MLC), under the leadership of Chairperson Ernest Chanda, held a crucial meeting with Information and Media Permanent Secretary, Mr. Thabo Kawana, to discuss the status and advancements of the Media Self-Regulation Bill.

Among those present were members of the Media Liaison Committee, the Director for Press and Media Development, Mr. Morden Mayembe, along with several senior government officials. 

Committee members, including Wendy Mporokoso, Joy Chulu, Brighton Mwape, Henry Kabwe, and Enock Ngoma, were also part of the deliberations.

The primary objective of the meeting was to seek clarity on the progress of enacting the Media Self-Regulation Bill into law. Mr. Kawana reiterated the vital role of the media in maintaining high ethical standards and professionalism. 

He emphasized the duty of the media to report responsibly and factually, aiming to prevent anarchy and strife within the country.

During the discussions, Mr. Kawana highlighted the necessity for a patriotic approach to handling national issues by media bodies and practitioners. 

Addressing concerns about potential divisions through media channels, he clarified that recent cautions to media houses were not intended as threats but as reminders to operate within the bounds of the law.

The Permanent Secretary acknowledged the issues raised by the Media Liaison Committee and expressed the government’s readiness to proceed once outstanding matters are resolved. 

He also conveyed the government’s desire for a regulatory body for journalists, aligning with the practices in other regulated professions such as lawyers, doctors, and public relations officers.

Director for Press and Media Development, Mr. Morden Mayembe, provided insight into the current status of the Self-Regulation Bill, stating that it is currently at the Ministry of Justice for drafting.

Chairperson Ernest Chanda urged the Ministry to expedite the process, emphasizing the committee’s stance on self-regulation, which was communicated in 2019.

The Public and Media Relations Unit of the Ministry of Information and Media issued the official statement, reflecting the key points discussed during the meeting.

The government’s awareness of media issues and its commitment to fostering responsible journalism through the enactment of the Media Self-Regulation Bill demonstrates a collaborative effort between media stakeholders and the authorities in ensuring the industry’s ethical and professional standards.  

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