MISA Zambia Releases 2023 Freedom of Expression Report

… Government commended MISA Zambia for its commitment to defending media freedom and freedom of expression

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (25-04-2024) – The 2023 Freedom of Expression (FOX) report by MISA Zambia has revealed a generally healthy environment for journalists in the country during the first half of 2023, with indications of some improvements in media freedom, freedom of expression, and digital rights enjoyment.

The report’s findings and recommendations will inform ongoing discussions on freedom of expression, media freedom, and digital rights in Zambia, and serve as a valuable resource for stakeholders working to promote these fundamental rights.

Accordiing to the report, 73.7% of respondents believed that the media operates freely in Zambia, while 26.3% felt otherwise.

The report indicated that incidents of harassment and intimidation against journalists increased from 16% in 2022 to 25% in 2023.

“61% of journalists expressed concerns that citizens are not fully enjoying freedom of expression. 62% of journalists faced difficulties accessing information, with 9% indicating that access was very tough,” the report stated.

The report, which was conducted across all 10 provinces of Zambia, targeted various stakeholders including journalists, media trainers, bloggers, political parties, human rights defenders, and civil society organizations.

The report focuses on the period from July to December 2023 and serves as a crucial advocacy tool for ongoing discussions on these pressing issues.

At the launch event, Thabo Kawana, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Media, commended MISA Zambia for its commitment to defending media freedom and freedom of expression.

He encouraged MISA Zambia and its partners to continue their efforts in this regard. Kawana also noted that no media institution has been closed or interfered with under the current administration, unlike in the past.

Lorraine Mwanza Chisanga, Chairperson of MISA Zambia, emphasized the organization’s mission to enhance freedom of expression, media freedom, and access to information for all.

She highlighted the importance of these freedoms in promoting good governance and sustainable development.

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