Media law reform and media regulation

Since the mid-1990s, MISA has been campaigning for greater broadcasting diversity in southern Africa to combat the domination of state broadcasters and the exclusion of other voices. We advocate for a three-tier system for broadcasting: public service, commercial and community, as outlined in the African Charter on Broadcasting.

Almost every country in the region, save for Zimbabwe, has private broadcasters. Some countries like Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho and Zimbabwe have initiated community radio initiatives while they wait for policy and legal reforms allowing community radio licenses.

Community broadcasting

Community media is operated in the community, for the community, about the community and by the community. It is independent, free from political or commercial interference and can, therefore, facilitate public platforms for debate and discussion and promote social agendas.

The reach of community media, particularly radio, means it provides information and a platform of expression to remote, grassroots communities that may not be represented in other media. The main challenges community radio and television faces in the region are lack of legislation, regulation and infrastructure to support the establishment and licensing of community media, and the inability to sustain themselves beyond donor seed money.

Public service broadcasting

Public service broadcasting is created, financed and controlled by the public, for the public. It is neither commercial nor state-owned and is therefore free from political or commercial interference.

Public service broadcasting informs, educates and entertains. It is an essential part of a pluralistic, diverse broadcasting sector.

Media freedom news from our chapters

25 years on: Reflections on media law reforms

25 years on: Reflections on media law reforms

We are pleased to announce that in commemoration of our 25 years of existence as an institution, MISA Zimbabwe has made available a special publication titled; MISA Zimbabwe @25: Reflections on media law reforms. Below is a statement from our Board of Trustees...

Recommittal of Cyber Security Bill in the Senate: Letter to Parly

Recommittal of Cyber Security Bill in the Senate: Letter to Parly

MISA Zimbabwe has written to the Speaker of Parliament to highlight its concerns arising from the recommittal of the Cybersecurity and Data Protection Bill to the Senate. Below is a copy of the letter sent to Parliament this morning; 4 August 2021 Honourable Advocate...

SADC ignores media in Vision 2050

SADC ignores media in Vision 2050

On 18 June 2021, MISA wrote to the Chairperson of the Southern Africa Development Community, President Filipe J. Nyusi of the Republic of Mozambique regarding the safety and security of journalists and the implementation of contentious cybersecurity laws in the SADC...

Analysis of the newly enacted Zimbabwe Media Commission Act

Analysis of the newly enacted Zimbabwe Media Commission Act

The legislative wheel has been turning since the approval by Cabinet in February 2019 of the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). As a result, the Freedom of Information Act was enacted in July 2020, the Cybersecurity and Data...