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The legal implications of accreditation or non-accreditation of journalists under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
prepared by Irene Petras on behalf of MISA-Zimbabwe Chapter
October 19, 2002

© reserved - Irene Petras October 2002

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To accredit, or not to accredit? That is not the first question. Before a journalist can begin to consider this he should make himself aware of how the authority responsible for accreditation is constituted and controlled, and its aims and objectives. Thus one has to look at the Media and Information Commission, which is set up under Part VII of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (hereinafter referred to as "the Act").

The Media and Information Commission
Who falls within the confines of the Act?
Who is entitled to be accredited?
Implications of accreditation
The implications of failing to accredit
Way forward in the event of a decision not to accredit

In conclusion, the words of the Supreme Court in the Chavunduka matter, should be kept in mind and upheld by any court willing to protect the most fundamental of freedoms – that of the freedom of expression:

"The fact that the particular content of a person’s speech might ‘excite popular prejudice’ is no reason to deny it protection for ‘if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought – not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought of those we hate’".

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