Zambian journalists on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited draft self-media regulatory bill which will allow the profession to have a self-regulatory mechanism.

The draft bill was presented to Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya by a technical committee on self-media regulation.

Enock Ngoma, Chairperson of the Media Liaison Committee, a coalition of various media bodies, said the bill, once passed into law, will not only regulate the conduct of the media but will also promote press freedom in the country.

He said it was important for the media to have a self-regulatory mechanism because it had become polarized, unethical and that the need for professionalism could not be over-emphasized.

According to him, the process towards the drafting of the bill has been open and highly consultative and urged the government to make improvements to the bill which represents the aspirations of journalists.

On her part, the Zambian minister said there was an urgent need for the journalists to set their own standards if they were to gain the trust and respect of citizens.

She said professional journalists have a responsibility to protect and uphold the integrity of their profession by isolating those masquerading as professionals.

The Zambian minister described the completion of the long-awaited draft media self-regulation bill as an important step towards achieving media self-regulation and sanity in the journalism profession. Enditem


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