THE role that both the public and private media in Zambia have played towards the advancement of our democracy and the social and economic development of our country cannot be over-emphasised.
The media, as the fourth estate, have made huge strides and played an enormous role in reporting about the many challenges our country is facing though operating under a very difficult social, legal, economic and political environment, details of which everyone is aware of.
Over the years the media have fought â€˜running battlesâ€™ with the state to ensure laws that inhibit the access to information are repealed and also to ensure media professionals are allowed to operate in a secure and independent environment.
The media have made successes in some areas and they deserve our pat on the back.
However, I have noticed something strange among the private media without any exception, especially during this election period.
This is a culture where the private media editors have had difficulties in accommodating divergent views from members of the public.
It is ironic that the media organisations have been fighting the state for media freedoms on one hand and yet are openly denying the public the freedom to express themselves freely.
Isnâ€™t that hypocrisy?
I implore media organisations to practise what they preach if they will successfully gain respect from all sectors of public life.
JOHN NOEL LUNGU