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to tighten media law
October 07, 2004
The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA)
Amendment Bill which will tighten the controversial media law was
tabled in Parliament on 6 October 2004.
The Bill seeks
among other provisions, to amend certain sections of AIPPA for purposes
of providing a penalty for those journalists caught practicing without
Clause 3 seeks
to amend Section 83 prohibiting unaccredited or suspended journalists
from practicing journalism. The provision will introduce a penalty
which was not previously provided for in the form of a fine not
exceeding $600 000 or two years imprisonment or to both such fine
The Bill was
read for the first time and then referred to the Parliamentary Legal
Committee (PLC) for consideration.
The PLC is entitled
to 26 days within which it should determine the constitutionality
or otherwise of the Bill and present a report on its findings to
Clause 2 of
the Bill seeks to amend section 40 (2) of the principal Act, which
provides that some members of the Media and Information Commission
[MIC] be appointed from nominees of an association of media houses
and an association of journalists.
The clause seeks
to amend this requirement by providing that nominees be received
from either of the two or both associations, as there is currently
no association of media houses.
Clause 4 of
the amendment seeks to introduce a provision for the appointment
of a three- member Independent Disciplinary Committee to determine
whether any member of the MIC suspended by the Minister for misconduct
should be dismissed.
The IDC shall
be chaired by a person appointed by the Minister from a list of
three registered legal practitioners recommended by the Attorney
It will also
consist of a member of the MIC appointed by the Minister from a
list of three members of the MIC recommended by the MIC and the
third person shall be chosen from a list of three names submitted
by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications.
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