Mutsvangwa rings media law reforms

Source: Mutsvangwa rings media law reforms | Newsday (News)

INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday said media practitioners were a key stakeholder in the formulation of legislation governing the operation of the industry.


Addressing a media stakeholders’ consultative workshop in Harare, the minister said reforms should find takers among those they were intended to regulate if they were to be effective.
“Good laws are those that have a buy-in from those that they intend to govern… The ministry is of the position that your views are very critical if it is to come out with laws that will create a vibrant media sector,” she said.

Mutsvangwa said her ministry recognised the critical role played by the media in society as opinion leaders.

She encouraged media practitioners to identify any provision in laws governing the operation of the industry which they felt were not in sync with democratic tenets.

Stakeholders are pushing for the amendment of draconian laws such as the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Commercialisation Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Broadcasting Services Act.

“If there is anything in these laws that you think is not progressive, this is the time to say it so that we make amends,” Mutsvangwa said.

She said the media should make recommendations to the ministry to assist the ministry in its advisory role to government.

Addressing the same gathering, the ministry’s secretary, Ndavaningi Mangwana, said some of the country’s media laws had been overtaken by technological developments.

“Some of our laws have been overtaken by technology, rendering them obsolete and irrelevant. Key issues have arisen as to the efficacy of some of our legislation in light of the emergence of social media — the fifth estate,” he said.

He said government was keen to work with the media to ensure “a professional, responsible, ethical and above all, profitable media fraternity”.

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