Executive Summary
The State of the Media-topical study is an in-depth presentation of selected
issues affecting the media’s operating environment in a given period. This
edition covers the period January-June and highlights various issues that
had potential to affect the role of the media in the period under review.
The rationale of the study is the nexus between a good operating environment
for the media and the facilitation of democratic governance, access to
information and freedom of expression.
On the Access to Information Bill, the study concludes that there has not been
any meaningful progress evidenced by the promissory notes given by
government, as well as indication of undertaking nationwide consultations
which will further stall the enactment of the Bill. It is clear that the culture of
promises and stalling with regard to the Bill (as evidenced by a list of promises
adduced from 2011 to date) is still rife and may be a norm under the New
dawn administration if no clear roadmap and commitment is given.
With regard to media regulation, the study holds that there is a level of
consensus on the need for regulation of the practice of journalism given the
lack of professionalism and mushrooming of impersonators among many
other reasons. There is, however, a need to review the process of enactment
of the Bill to ensure it is fully representative and does not usher in an era of
statutory regulation given the lack of a clear regulatory philosophy, evidenced
by the misnomer “statutory-self regulation” which has been the mantra of the
Bill. Further, there are concerns on the possibility of regulating a stifled
profession. This is evidenced by the withdrawal of some stakeholders from the
process, including apprehensions on the content of the Bill by other
Other topics considered include the Cybercrimes and Cyber Security Act
which remains an issue of concern given its various provisions that have
instilled fear in media practitioners as they frequently conduct their work
within the bounds of several offenses defined by the Act. This can be noted


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