Media in ``democratic{''} Zambia: Problems and prospects

  • Phiri I
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Zambia's transition to multiparty politics in 1991 has not led to
significant changes in state-media relations. There was a brief period
(just before and soon after 1991) when it appeared that the media would
become an independent influence in a democratic environment. But any
movement in that direction has been thwarted by the continued state
control of the country's major news establishments. The independent
media is weak due to a hostile political and legal environment and
severe economic conditions. The ability of the independent press to
contribute effectively to democratic discourse is further constrained by
its failure to live up to the professional role of the press in
pluralist politics. This paper examines the factors that have
incapacitated the media and proposes that the same local and
international civil society organizations that precipitated the 1991
transition to multiparty politics must again be mobilized to bring about
a lasting transformation of state-media relations in Zambia.

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  • I Phiri

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