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Development of Zambia's online media hampered

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 25 Mar 2014

Development of Zambia's online media hampered

Zambia’s bad press laws are forcing online media to operate underground, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia.

MISA has warned that as long as the current bad press laws continue to be in place, it will be difficult for online media to operate openly.

MISA Zambia acting chairperson Hellen Mwale said the reasons why owners and journalists for online media do not identify themselves is because of the bad press laws that exists in the country.

“Some journalists are currently appearing before the courts of law for being suspected of contributing to critical online media. This is why we are pushing for a new constitution that will give freedom to online media,” Mwale said.

The Zambian government has so far refused to release a draft national constitution which has clauses that prevents the government from interfering with online and electronic media.

Journalists working for online media in the country are forced to work undercover for fear of being arrested by the authorities.

The country’s president Michael Sata has already directed the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), the country’s telecom sector regulator to close some online publications.

The Zambian Watchdog and the Zambia Reports are some of the online media organisations whose local access has been blocked by the Zambian government.

The Zambian government has accused several online media organisations of promoting ‘hate speech’, and the administration has even alleged that some of these online media outlets are being sponsored and used by the opposition political parties to attack and insult officials.

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