A media house shall in the case of a private media house (Section 7(1)(b) Media Services Act 2016 – Bill):
- provide media services to public in accordance with licensed service area;
- uphold professional code of ethics;
- promote public awareness in various issues of national interest through information dissemination; and
- broadcast or publish news or issues of national importance as the Government may direct.
Any matter which, if published, is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by an injury to his reputation, is a defamatory matter (Section 32).
A person shall be deemed to make publication of a libel if that person causes the print, writing, painting, effigy or other means by which the defamatory matter is conveyed, to be dealt with, either by exhibition, reading, recitation, description, delivery or otherwise, in a way that the defamatory meaning thereof becomes known or is likely to be known to either the person defamed or any other person (Section 33(1)).
Publication of defamatory matter shall not be unlawful if the matter is true and it was for the public benefit that it is published (Section 43(a)).