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IBA counsels media houses ahead of 2016 elections

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
THE Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) board has called on radio and television stations to uphold ethics of journalism and fair coverage of news as the nation gets ready for the general elections next year.
IBA board member Hilda Akekelwa said in an interview in Livingstone yesterday that guidelines relating to the general elections will be issued early next year.
“There is need for journalists to be balanced in their coverage of news. I know there are political parties that buy airtime, but that should not stop media houses from covering parties without money,” she said.
Mrs Akekelwa called for fair coverage of all political parties and individual contestants.
Last week, the IBA board that included director general Josephine Mapoma embarked on a tour of Southern and Western provinces to familiarise themselves with the operations of radio stations in the two regions.
Ending the tour in Livingstone yesterday, IBA member Overton Banda commended radio stations for doing their best in educating and entertaining the people despite working under difficult conditions including electricity outages.
“Despite all the challenges faced by community radio stations in rural areas they have a huge following. In rural areas people depend on radio stations for news on government policies and farm inputs,” he said.
In Southern Province the IBA team visited all the 17 radio stations and three in Western Province.
Mr Banda appealed to radio stations to continue educating listeners on their right to complain when offended.
“It is unfortunate that many listeners are not aware that they have the right to complain if felt offended by the songs played on radio or television.
Where members of the public find that broadcasting stations have not addressed their concerns, they have the right to register their grievances with the IBA,” he said.
Mr Banda said the IBA is responsible for regulating broadcasting stations in Zambia to promote a pluralistic and diverse broadcasting industry.

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