Media assured of protection

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

GOVERNMENT will protect the media against attacks by political party cadres before, during and after this year’s August 11 general elections.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Godfrey Malama said in Chipata yesterday that the media can be assured of Government protection as they execute their duties during the election.
He also urged radio broadcasters to be careful in the management of the service.
“As always, the vast majority of our people, especially those in far flung areas of the country will rely on the radio for important updates and announcement of the election results. This is a huge national responsibility which the media cannot afford to mishandle through careless, petty and personal considerations,” Mr Malama said.
Mr Malama was speaking yesterday when he officiated at the World Radio Day commemoration in Chipata.
He said World Radio Day provides an important platform for drawing the attention of the humanity to the important role of radio which is the cheapest and easiest medium of communication World -over.
“World Radio Day also provides an opportunity for radio journalists to review and renew their commitment to the ethical and professional use of radio in informing, educating and entertaining the public,” Mr Malama said.
This year’s world Radio Day was celebrated under the theme “The role of radio in humanitarian emergency and disaster situations.”
Mr Malama said the theme for this year’s World Radio Day is timely because radio is often the first medium for survival through transmission of messages of protection and prevention to many people during any calamity.
He said Government liberalisation of the airwaves and the establishment of Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has resulted the Country to have more than 80 Radio community and commercial Radio stations.
He said the community, commercial and religious radio stations dotted all over the Country are playing an important role in closing the information gap in the far flung areas where ZNBC cannot reach.
Mr Malama said Government re-affirms its commitment to creating an enabling environment for the continued growth and contribution of radio to the national development.
He commanded UNESCO support to the growth of Zambia’s broadcast sector and reiterated Government desire and determination to sustain collaboration with UNESCO and other cooperating partners in developing Zambia’s broadcasting industry.
And MISA Zambia National Chairperson Helen Mwale urged the media to be careful and impartial in the manner news is gathered and delivered.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova called on stakeholders to strengthen the links between the radio and emergency response.
Independent Broadcasting Authority Director General Josephine Mapoma said radio can discourage the use of violence and hate speech and instead appeal for peaceful co-existence.

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