Background Paper: Politics and Interactive Media in Zambia
Neo Simutanyi (Centre for Policy Dialogue, Zambia), Alastair Fraser (Centre of Governance and Human Rights, University of Cambridge) Nalukui Milapo (Institute of Economic and Social Research, University of Zambia).
This background paper provides an overview of the history and context of interactive media and public opinion in Zambia. It is prepared as part of Politics and Interactive Media in Africa (PiMA) - a collaborative study involving the University of Cambridge, University of Nairobi and University of Zambia. The main objectives of the PiMA project are: (a) to explore the extent to which media interactivity is widening (and deepening) political participation in Africa; (b) to investigate how public opinion is collected and represented by African media and for what (and whose) purposes; and (c) to establish the extent to which public opinion expressed via interactive media affects accountability mechanisms and policy-makers’ behaviour. The primary purpose of this background paper is to provide a political and policy context to the Zambian case study, and introduce the history and context of interactive media in Zambia. The paper is organised into four sections. The first section provides a brief history to the evolution of broadcast media in Zambia. The second section outlines the legal and policy context of broadcasting in Zambia. The third section discusses the state of interactive media in Zambia and its attendant challenges. The fourth section examines the state of public opinion formation through media platforms.