The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) – Zambia, has condemned all efforts aimed at intimidating the media through harassment and beating up of media personnel by some sections of society.
MISA Zambia National Director Hewitt Chizyuka called on government and all political parties to restrain their members from harassing media personnel saying a vibrant and diverse media plays a key role in establishing a strong foundation for democratic governance.
Mr. Chizyuka bemoaned the harsh operating environment for the media in the country saying the situation was getting worse due to the increasing cases of harassment and violence against the media.
He said this in Livingstone yesterday during the closure of a three-day training workshop for management personnel and board members of community radio stations organized by MISA Zambia.
Mr. Chizyuka also challenged the media in the country to ensure their coverage of issues was done in a fair, accurate, impartial and truthful manner.
He cautioned media personnel to desist from being used by people that had personal or political scores to settle as this was detrimental to development and good governance.
Mr. Chizyuka said the media could only enhance equitable coverage, fight corruption and help to improve people’s lives through ethical and responsible conduct.
And Southern Province Permanent Secretary Darius Hakayobe called for effective training of media personnel in the country to reduce incidents of mishandling information when disseminating it to the public.
Mr. Hakayobe said media was a good platform for disseminating information but adequate training was needed if press freedom was to be understood by all stakeholders.
He commended MISA Zambia for promoting media freedom and diversity in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Mr. Hakayobe said this in a speech read for him by Acting Provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary, Manuel Nchima.
The participants of the workshop were drawn from Radio Musi-O-Tunya, Zambezi FM Radio and Sky FM radio.