The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) is responsible for regulating the broadcasting industry in Zambia, by ensuring the promotion of a pluralistic and diverse broadcasting industry. IBA also has the function of receiving and addressing broadcasting complaints that the public may have.
The IBA Act (2002), in Part V, Section 33, provides that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and all other broadcasters must develop a code of professional standards, which shall comply with the following minimum requirements:
1. Respect for the human dignity and human rights and freedoms, and contribution to the tolerance of different opinions and beliefs
2. Comprehensive, unbiased and independent news broadcast and current affairs programmes with commentary clearly distinguished from news
3. Observance of procedures for correcting factual errors and redressing unfairness
4. Observance of the principle of the right to reply
5. Protection of the integrity of minors by clearly classifying and distributing programmes that could endanger the development of a child in a way with the least possibility for a child to use it
6. Clear separation of advertisements from other programme outputs.
Therefore, where members of the public have found that a broadcasting station has gone against any of the above standards, they have the right to register such grievances to the IBA.
1. When a member of the public has a complaint against a station that has breached one or more of the above standards, that person must:
i. Write to the station via post, email or fax, stating what grievances they have against the broadcast;
ii. State when the broadcast took place;
iii. State who the broadcaster was;
iv. State their names and contact details for further communication by the broadcaster
2. Upon communicating with the station, it is expected that the station will respond to the complainant within fourteen (14) days
3. Where the person has not received a response or has received a response within fourteen days, but considers the response to be inadequate; that person may forward the complaint to the IBA.
4. When a complaint reaches the IBA through email, post or fax, the IBA will institute an investigation.
5. The IBA shall not investigate the complaint if it is satisfied that:- i. the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or was not made in good faith;
ii. the complaint is not relevant to a code of practice developed by the broadcasting station or
iii. the complaint is brought more than three (3)months after the broadcast in question was made.
6. If, having investigated a complaint, the IBA is satisfied that the complaint is justified, the IBA should take action to obligate the broadcasting station to comply with the relevant code of practice.
7. The other action that the IBA may take may include broadcasting or otherwise publishing an apology or retraction.
8. The IBA shall notify the complainant of the results of such an investigation.
9. If the IBA has made a recommendation to a broadcasting station to remedy the complaint, and the station does not do so in fourteen days, the IBA , may by notice in writing, require the station to make good the default within a specified time.
10. If the broadcasting station fails to comply with the notice
referred to in (9), the IBA shall apply to the High Court for an order compelling the licensee to remedy the default.
You can complain against any radio or television station that has aired anything that, in your view, has breached the broadcasting ethical standards..
You can base your complaints on a breach of the code of professional standards
You can make a complaint within three months of the broadcast, failure to which the IBA cannot process your complaint. Radio and television stations are mandated by law to store information for up to three months.
You can address your complaint to:
The Director General
Independent Broadcasting Authority
Mass Media Complex
Alick Nkhata Road
P.O. Box 32475