“This workshop gives hope that the long, overdue policy would finally be adopted after over 13 years of advocacy. The policy would create a vital platform to resolve disputes and complaints between media practitioners and other components of society, without going through the courts of law,” Matšasa said.
He added the policy would also help in the establishment of essential apparatus such as a media ombudsman and media council.
Some of the laws governing the local media industry are outdated and the policy would provide room for their review, Matšasa added.
“Some of these laws date as far back as 1912, and it goes without saying that they need to be revised. The local media currently operates without a clear code of conduct and we are confident that this would effectively be taken care of by the new policy,” Matšasa said.
Any new amendments would help entrench media freedom but enable government to ensure that certain, narrowly defined interests like national security, morals and personal privacy, among others, are protected, he added.