Trivial reportage worries information minister

MINISTER of Information and Broadcasting Services Kampamba Mulenga (middle), permanent secretary Godfrey Malama (right) and Livingstone Press Club president Brian Hatyoka during an interactive meeting with journalists in Livingstone recently. PICTURE: SHIKANDA KAWANGA

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
MINISTER of Information and Broadcasting Services Kampamba Mulenga says Government is concerned that the media have continued to focus on trivial, divisive and unproductive issues in their daily reportorial work.
The minister called on the media to exercise high levels of reportorial standards to contribute to peaceful co-existence among citizens and national development.
“The dissemination of factual, objective and well-researched information and news to the public is a huge national responsibility which the media cannot afford to mishandle through careless, petty and personal considerations.
“The responsibility and loyalty of the media is to the public and not individuals with their narrow, selfish personal agendas,” Ms Mulenga said.
Speaking during the commemoration of World Radio Day in Livingstone yesterday, Ms Mulenga re-affirmed Government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for the continued growth and contribution of radio to national development.
World Radio Day was commemorated under the theme:  Public participation: Radio is you.
Ms Mulenga said Government wants to see more radio stations established by local communities in every part of the country.
She said radio has become more important and relevant than ever following the unprecedented growth in the number of radio stations countrywide from 80 last year to the current 113.
Ms Mulenga said the radio stations dotted country-wide play an important role in closing the information gap, especially in far-flung areas of the country where Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) cannot reach.
She also dismissed reports that Government has sold ZNBC to StarTimes, a Chinese firm.
The minister explained that ZNBC and StarTimes have entered into a joint venture to improve on diversity of contents.
And Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) director-general Josephine Mapoma said radio plays an important role in serving the communication needs of communities by encouraging open dialogue and providing an independent platform for interactive discussion on matters of importance.
Ms Mapoma also encouraged the public on their right to complain against any station that in their view is airing anything that breaches broadcasting ethical standards.

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