In the Journalists in Danger (JED) Initiative, online media in DRC met on June 21, 2018 at the Media Resources Center (RCM) in Kinshasa. The ideal was to reflect, examine and analyse, together with the Regulatory and Self-Regulation Bodies, the new decree N ° 011 / CABMIN-CM / LMO / 2018 of 14 June 2018 implementing measures of the Law 96- 002 of June 22 fixing the modalities of the exercise of the freedom of press, signed Lambert MENDE, Minister of the Communication and Media. At the end of this meeting, UNPC President KASONGO TSHILUNDE, in his capacity as self-regulator, made a statement in which the self-regulatory bodies consider that this ministerial decree is likely to undermine the freedom of the press by demanding in particular, a prior declaration before exploitation of the media online. On the other hand, they ask the Minister of Communication and Media to take a moratorium to suspend the application of this decree, while waiting for the self-regulatory bodies to make constructive proposals for a better exploitation of the media on line, in accordance with the law.
Online media in DRC
DECLARATION OF SELF-REGULATION BODIES AND REGULATION OF CONGOLESE MEDIA ON THE MEDIA ONLINE
Meeting on June 21, 2018 at the Media Resource Center (CRM), the Self-Regulating Bodies of the Media, under the direction of Journalist in Danger (JED) and the National Union of the Press of Congo (UNPC), have examined the form and substance of ministerial order N ° 011 / CABMIN-CM / LMO / 2018 of 14 June 2018 implementing Law 96-002 of 22 June, laying down the procedures for the exercise of Press freedom .
From this analysis, it follows that:
Article 1 of this Ministerial Order. The principle of export declaration is enacted by the Act on the CSAC in its article 17, which the online media comply with in the DRC. As a result, the requirement of pre-filing online pre-exploitation has no legal basis. So, inoperative.
From Article 2. The definition made of “Online Media” is not happy as long as it confuses “online news media” and “online media service”. It’s a definition that is too extensive.
Article 3. The use of Article 57 of Law 96-002 of 22 June 1996 laying down the modalities for the exercise of the freedom of the press is in no way intended for the online media rather the audiovisual media. Therefore, assimilating the online press, unregulated but regulated through the CSAC, to the audiovisual media is confusing.
Article 4. Regulatory and self-regulatory bodies already support online media players identified and grouped within the Association of Online News Media (MILRDC) to not only comply with the legal and regulatory requirements of the exercise of the freedom of the press but also the respect of professional ethics. A workshop followed by recommendations to strengthen the regulation of online news media is being prepared.
Article 5. The regulatory and self-regulatory bodies observe an encroachment on the prerogatives of the CSAC. Also, publishers of online media content do not have control of advertising messages visible on their digital media. Because, they undergo the advertising which is controlled by the GAFAM and the hosts. They pledged to make concrete proposals in the framework of a workshop to work together to define the mechanism by which the State could make the content of DRC publishers repribuable.
Article 7. Regulatory and self-regulatory bodies request the Minister of Communication and Media to suspend the 30-day period granted to existing online media to comply with these regulations. For the decree itself is based on Bill 96, which does not take into account the online news media which constitute a subsector in its own right.
Considering that Bill 96 is obsolete and that its revision so much demanded by the corporation for 5 years is still not effective, the regulatory and self-regulatory bodies recommend to the Minister to take a moratorium to suspend the application of its decree regulating online media, the time for consultation with stakeholders. The jurisdiction being of attribution, hers is not proved in this ministerial decree.
Done at Kinshasa, June 21, 2018