The Committee Stage of this Bill is due to be taken in the National Assembly on Tuesday 8th September 2020 or soon thereafter. The responsible Minister - the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services - has given notice that she will asking the National Assembly to approve two major amendments to the Bill.
The Minister's amendments, if approved, will change the Bill in the following respects:
Insertion of a new Part V entitled MEDIA FUND consisting of new clauses 21 to 27
This new Part V will essentially provide for a new Media Fund vested in and managed by the Commission that will essentially revive the former Media Fund that previously existed under AIPPA (the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act) until its repeal by the Freedom of Information Act. Like the AIPPA Media Fund it will be funded, at least in part, by levies to be paid by mass media owners.
Insertion of a new clause 28 allowing a certain degree of self-regulation to associations of media practitioners recognised by the Commission
The new clause goes into detail about the circumstances in which the Commission may recognise associations of medai practitioners to enforce codes of ethics through "neutral adjudicators" meeting the qualifications stipulated in the clause. Recognised associations will deal with complaints against their members in the first instance. There will be a right of appeal to the Commission from an adjudicator's decision .
THE FULL TEXT OF THE MINISTER'S PROPOSED AMENDMENTS CAN BE DOWNLOADED BELOW.