No democracy can work when media freedom is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is especially important to protection during campaign and election times that the media can act freely and safely. The FES Zambia and our partner Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia provide a platform to bring together stakeholders in order to address the issues. Journalists, media activists and civil society actors take part in order to lobby for the implementation of better media regulations, for better protection for journalists and a diverse media landscape in Zambia. We're proud to be able to present the State of the Media Report Zambia for the second quarter of 2021.
"The socio-political environment did not record any major violations or inhibitions to freedom of the press through violent attacks by political party cadres, save the burning of part of Kalungwishi Radio in Chiengi District by unknown persons. The quarter also witnessed positive developments in pronouncements made by President Edgar Lungu on protection of the media as well as the implementation of practical security training for journalists. On a negative note, though, the quarter witnessed the resurgence of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with renewed restrictions that constrained the work of journalists and media outlets. The legal environment did not record any major development. As predicted in the previous quarter, the Access to Information Bill was not presented to Parliament while the fifth session of the twelfth National Assembly ended on 12th May. This marks nearly twenty years of a campaign for the enactment of the law. The legal environment also witnessed the launch of a report by Amnesty International, alleging various human rights concerns over a ten-year period. In the economic environment, a slightly more positive picture was observed as compared to the first quarter. The quarter witnessed a marginal improvement in economic activity, whose benefits trickled down to the media sector while the absence of such exacerbating factors as load shedding helped to cushion the impact on media enterprises which were reeling from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic witnessed in the first quarter. The general upward trend in most economic variables, particularly inflation among others, continued to affect media outlets negatively by increasing the cost of doing business and reducing the capacity of media houses to make capital investments, especially in the wake of the virtual society under the COVID-19 pandemic which required improved technology. Finally, in the technological environment, a major development was noted in the launch of the National Cyber Security Policy that is expected to guide and promulgate various strategies aimed at securing the online space."
The State of the Media Report is an advocacy tool that quarterly monitors the current situation in the country and enables an informed debate.
You can download the report here.