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IPI welcomes launch of Zambia Media Council

(IPI/IFEX) - Vienna, 6 July 2012 – The International Press Institute (IPI) today welcomed the launch of the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC), a voluntary regulatory system for the Zambian media, which was scheduled to take place this afternoon.

"I am proud to announce that the long-awaited launch of ZAMEC will finally take place tomorrow (today) after three years of planning and negotiations. We are happy that the general public will have an institution to complain to, should they feel injured by a news story," Gilles Kasongo, chairman of the media committee that established the ZAMEC, was quoted by news reports as saying.

The process of establishing the independent self-regulatory body has been underway since 2009, when representatives from media houses and media organisations first began researching various models for media regulation.

ZAMEC was intended to replace the defunct Media Council of Zambia, and its creation was spurred by a challenge from former Information Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha, who warned media in 2009 that they must either regulate themselves or expect that parliament would create a regulatory body.

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