Master thesis presentation: The Struggle for Press Freedom
Simon Chirwa is presenting his master thesis: The Struggle for Press Freedom. Defamation and Press Freedom in Zambia.
The presentation is open to public.
The Republic of Zambia recognises the importance of establishing freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and has codified it within its laws. Article 20 of the Constitution of Zambia states that all citizens of the republic shall exercise freedom of expression. This is perhaps one of the most recognised rights within democratic countries across the globe. However, it continues to be one of the most debated issues, particularly with respect to the media and how much freedom they should have to express themselves. Under Zambian law, freedom of expression is guaranteed. However, freedom of the press is not explicitly stated, but is merely mentioned in passing without much clarity. This, in turn, has created a problem for the media, which feel that the laws should be written more precisely to fully include the media in provisions regarding freedom of expression. One of the reasons the media continue to fight for more independence is the government’s interference in their day-to-day operations. The state, through its policies and laws, is central to how the media operate. Since its independence in 1964, the state has limited freedom of expression through laws such as the Defamation Act. The main underlying factor is the government’s continued interference with the media.
The thesis focuses on the law of defamation and freedom of expression. The thesis examines the law of defamation, freedom of expression and of the press, and the implications on the freedom of expression of the press. This research was conducted in Zambia and utilised qualitative research and document analysis.