Parliament and the Media Building an Informed Society

Parliament and the Media Building an Informed Society
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    Parliament and the Media  Building an Informed Society  Nicolas Bouchet   Part 1. Report of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Study Group on Parliament and the Media, Perth, 17-21 February 2003, at the Parliament of Western Australiaand   Nixon K. Kariithi    Part 2. A report on the proceedings of the Indian Ocean Rim Conference on Parliament and the Media, 14-18 April 2002, at the Parliament of South Africa, Cape Town   Commonwealth Parliamentary Association World Bank Institute  Copyright  2003The International Bank for Reconstructionand Development /The World Bank  1818 H Street, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20433, U.S.A.The World Bank enjoys copyright under protocol 2 of the Universal Copyright Convention. Thismaterial may nonetheless be copied for research, educational or scholarly purposes only in themember countries of The World Bank. Material in this series is subject to revision. The findings,interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this document are entirely those of the author(s) andshould not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, to its affiliated organizations, or themembers of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. Parliament and the Media: Building an Informed Society  Nicholas Bouchet and Nixon K. Kariithi 2003. 100 pages. Stock No. 37228    Contents Foreword Part 1: For an Informed Democracy Recommendations for an Informed DemocracyIntroductionThe Media Environment TodayPublic Interest and the Right to KnowStatutory Constraints and Freedom of ExpressionMedia Regulation and Freedom of ExpressionParliaments and the Right to KnowConclusion Part 2: Parliament and the Media: Securing an Effective Relationship Prologue: Parliament and the Media: Building an Effective RelationshipCape Town Principles for an Informed DemocracyOpening speakersDr Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency, South AfricaHon. Naledi Pandor, MP, Chairperson, National Council of Provinces, South AfricaHon. Denis Marshall, QSO, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Parliamentary AssociationMr Tim Carrington, Programme Officer, Governance Programme, World Bank InstituteBuilding on the New Delhi Conference on Parliament and the MediaBox: Securing an effective relationship, by Hon. Sarat Kumar Kar, MLA, Speaker of the OrissaLegislative Assembly, IndiaConstraints and Obstacles to Building an Informed DemocracyThe Main Economic ConstraintsThe Main Political ObstaclesThe Legal and Policy BarriersThe Capacity ConstraintsBox: The Media and Parliament in Uganda, by Hon. Mike Sebalu, MP, UgandaThe Ethics of the Relationship between Parliament and MediaFreedom of Information Legislation and Human RightsPress Freedom versus Invasion of PrivacyMedia OwnershipSelf-Regulation versus Statutory RegulationBox: The Media and Elections in Zimbabwe, by Mr Wilf Mbanga, Managing Director,Activate Communications, ZimbabweReporting Parliament – What is News?Hon. Phillip Pendal, Western Australia iii  iv Contents Reponses to Hon. Phillip PendalBox: A final word on what is news – Hon. Nat Kekana, MP, Chairperson, Portfolio Committeeon Communications, South AfricaList of Participants Appendices A) Parliament and the Media: Securing an Effective RelationshipB) Commonwealth Freedom of Information PrinciplesFor more information on the World Bank Institute’s media and parliamentary programme, pleasevisit:www.worldbank/wbi/governance/journalism www.worldbank/wbi/governance/parliaments For information about the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and its work on Parliamentand the Media, please     Foreword As part of their respective missions, the World Bank Institute (WBI) and the CommonwealthParliamentary Association (CPA) have sought to urge Parliaments and their Members to championthe protection of the media in support of good governance and democracy.As part of its governance programme, the Poverty Reduction and Economic Reform Division of theWorld Bank Institute initially concentrated its efforts on providing training for journalists. Morerecently, it has included a focus on improving the environment in which the media operate. TheCPA has also recognized the need for such an approach, given that great variations still exist fromone jurisdiction to another in the degree of freedom and protection afforded the media and thatParliamentarians play a leading role in ensuring that progress made in many countries in recentyears is emulated throughout the international community.Two conferences (one Commonwealth-wide in 2000 and one for Indian Ocean RimCommonwealth countries in 2002) were organized by the World Bank Institute and the CPA, incollaboration with the Commonwealth Press Union, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Associationand the Commonwealth Journalists Association (with support from the Lok Sabha of India, theParliament of South Africa and the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office).The conferences resulted in proposals to improve the flow of information between citizens andtheir elected representatives and governments. These contain fundamental principles and specific programmes of action that the participating Parliamentarians and media representatives agreed arenecessary for informed societies and fully functional democracies.The CPA and the World Bank Institute continued their work in this field by organizing a StudyGroup on Parliament and the Media in February 2003, with support from the Parliament of Western Australia. Composed of 10 Members of Parliament representing all eight CPA regions, theStudy Group made a series of recommendations for an informed society, based on their conclusionthat freedom of the media should not be regarded simply as the freedom of journalists, editors or  proprietors alone to report and comment; but rather that it must be regarded as the embodiment of the public's right to know and to participate in the free flow of information.This publication contains, first, the conclusions reached by the Study Group on Parliament and theMedia and a report of its discussions and the input of resource persons with parliamentary, legaland media expertise. The various recommendations of the Study Group provide Parliamentariansand media practitioners in all jurisdictions with ideas and arguments that can improve their relationship and the flow of information in their societies.The second part of this publication consists of a summary of the discussions during the IndianOcean Rim Conference on "Parliament and the Media: Securing an Effective Relationship", held in2002, at which participants representing both Parliaments and the media agreed "Principles for anInformed Democracy".It is hoped that the outputs of these activities organized by the World Bank Institute and theCommonwealth Parliamentary Association will help Members of Parliament, the media and civilsociety in general work toward the development of a better legal and political environment inwhich the public is provided with all the information it requires to make informed democraticchoices and decisions. v
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