Katema stakes govt position on media freedom

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Government says Zambia is a strong proponent of freedom of expression, freedom of the media and public access to information, as fundamental pre-requisites for sustainable social and economic development and democracy.

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Addressing the opening of the 36th Session of the United Nations Committee on Information in New York on Monday, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Joseph Katema said the Zambian Government has embarked on a wide range of measures to reform and reposition the country’s media industry.

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He says the reforms would enable the media to play its full and rightful role in national development.

Dr Katema says principle among these measures is the ongoing process to enact the Access to Information Bill also known as the Freedom of Information Bill.

Dr Katema, who is also Chief Government spokesperson, said since the time Zambia liberalised the airwaves in 1991, the country now has over 70 community and commercial radio stations and about 10 television stations.

He told the UN Member States that Zambia has several private newspapers and magazines, print and online that significantly widened and deepened public access to information.

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