THE Seychelles government is promising its journalists intensive consultations before setting up a media regulatory commission, writes Dennis Itumbi for journalism.co.za.
According to an email update by the Eastern Africa Journalists Association based in Djibouti, President James Michel has said his government will soon be creating an independent media regulatory body, to be known as the Seychelles Media Commission, to oversee, promote and regulate media activities in Seychelles.
The President is quoted as saying,Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAs we build on the gains of our economic reforms, we need to ensure that our various media organizations are able to meet the expectations of our population and enhance the access to credible information by our citizens."
"We need a professional media that is accountable and respects the right of citizens to reply, and their right to privacy. We need to recognize the weight of moral responsibility that journalists bear when they print or broadcast information in the interest of the public,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the President stated.
President Michel also stated that media in Seychelles needs to be accountable to the public, and that the Council would act as an arbiter in conflicts between newspapers, TV and radio and citizens who have valid complaints against them, "without the need to undertake expensive and lengthy court proceedings."
The President pledged that before the commission is set up "we will take into account the views of all media outlets and endeavor to ensure that the public interest is served in the media as a whole".