Zambia among worst press freedom violators in 2013

Zambia among worst press freedom violators in 2013

The Committee to Protect Journalists has just published its final report on media freedom violations around the world.

On Zambia, CPJ documented at least 16 cases of anti-press violations in 2013, including arrests, assaults, and official harassment.

This is what the international media organisation has to say:

Promises of a freer media environment by the Patriotic Front, which won election in 2011 after a campaign that pledged greater broadcast media freedom and a law promoting access to information, had yet to be fulfilled by late 2013. Journalists operated cautiously lest they fell afoul of thin-skinned authorities, and staff members at state-owned publications risked early retirement or redeployment into bureaucratic jobs for not toeing the party line. At least five journalists faced criminal charges in 2013; all of them had reported critically on the government. 

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 07.39.32The newly established Independent Broadcasting Authority awarded private broadcast licenses, but its independence was questioned when President Michael Sata revoked certain licenses. Of the country’s three major newspapers, two were state-controlled and the Post, once highly regarded for its independence, supported the ruling party in 2013, leaving few outlets where journalists could report freely. The government targeted at least three critical websites over the year, forcing one of them to repeatedly move servers–a virtual game of cat-and-mouse.

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