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Journalists should promote peace, says PS Malama

MINISTRY of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Godfrey Malama confers with MISA-Zambia chairperson Helen Mwale during a consultative meeting on the role of the public media in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: ANGELA NTENTABUNGA

TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has called on journalists to help promote peace and unity by not reporting hate speech.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Godfrey Malama said journalists should work hard and assist Government to promote peace and unity through responsible and factual reporting.
Mr Malama said this in Lusaka yesterday when he officially opened a one-day media workshop organised by the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA-Zambia) chapter.
“The media should continually preach peace and promote unity of purpose. There should be no room for hate speech in the media, whether public or private, because that is counterproductive.
“Journalists should observe good ethical requirements because this is what good journalism entails and it is unfortunate that some media institutions have been promoting journalism of insults and hate speech,” he said.
Mr Malama also advised journalists to ensure that information collected is verified before writing stories to avoid misleading the nation or promote disunity in the country.
He said when journalists become unprofessional in carrying out their duties, it is difficult to control and verify facts.
Mr Malama said it is sad that despite the country being in the digital age, journalists are shunning the traditional way of practising journalism which requires them to be factual and accurate.
He also said Government is concerned that some media houses are being abused and used to promote hate speech by some politicians.
Mr Malama also condemned the culture of harassing and beating of journalists in the country.
He assured that Government will not allow the harassment and victimisation of journalists because this infringes on media rights.
And MISA-Zambia chapter chairperson Hellen Mwale urged Government to continue promoting a conducive environment that will be favourable for the growth of the media fraternity in the country.

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