Posted by: africanpressorganization | 8 September 2009

Swaziland / Government Public Communication Policy To Open Ways For The Media






Swaziland / Government Public Communication Policy To Open Ways For The Media



MBABANE, Swaziland, September 8, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Swazi Director of Information and Media Development, Martin Dlamini has expressed government’s willingness to work with the media as partners in national development. He thus promised, the government was in the process of revamping and expanding access to information. He said an opinion study was under way to gauge the information needs of Swazi citizens. This would complement efforts on the draft  government public communication policy which will provide the framework for systematic information access. He said the first draft of the policy has been completed. Dlamini revealed this while addressing the MISA conference on censorship held in Ezulwini, Swaziland on 3 September 2009.


“Briefly, the policy approach will be one that does not consciously focus on making press headlines. But one that will be outcome-based to influence public attitudes and behaviors. As we speak, our government computer services department is enabling all our ministers and senior officials to plan and share their public events calendar online. This is intended to rationalize official public engagements and to create a monthly calendar for local media from which they can anticipate and plan their activities” promised Dlamini.  


However, while admitting that the media should actively participate in poverty reduction as it facilitates the access to information by the poor, Dlamini urged participants at the conference to deliberate more on the problem of media censorship. He said this is so because advertisers seems to have  taken control to influence various newsrooms. He also cited the relationships between editors and influential personalities such as politicians and business owners which resulted in journalists deliberately withholding information.


“These are just some of the few horror stories that emerge from some newsrooms. That obviously affect the quality and authenticity of the material that media consumers receive”, said Dlamini.



Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)


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