The legal and ethical implications of the media in fostering freedom of access to information in Zambia
Muhyila, Mildred Chuungu
MetadataShow full item record
Freedom of expression is a fundamental right guaranteed under international law by all the three main regional human rights treaties, namely the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and also by almost every national constitution with a bill of rights. It is now increasingly accepted that this right includes the right to access information held by public authorities. The Zambian Constitution does not have a specific provision dealing with the right to access information. Instead, access to information is provided for under the extensive reach of the right to freedom of expression. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as "a passive right to information." The right to access information entails not only the right of any citizen to express any view, but to have access to the full range of views expressed, more so through the media. If the right of access is accepted, then the media should play its vital role as a central provider of access to information. Article 20 (1) of the Zambian Constitution states that:- " ...no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his... freedom to receive ideas and impart information...freedom to impart and communicate ideas and information, whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons " This wording is similar to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that: "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression, this right shall include the freedom to seek and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice "
- Law