Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba has pledged to ensure the three public media institutions, TIMES OF ZAMBIA, ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) are recapitalised and modernised to desirable standards.
President Michael Sata recently swapped Mr Mwamba who was Western province Permanent Secretary with Amos Malupenga who was at Information.
Mr Mwamba prodded media heads to collaborate closely with him by submitting names of various institutions with outstanding debts so that the debts could be collected and funds utilised to enhance operations.
Speaking when he featured on a live Muvi Television, The Assignment programme, on Sunday, he said his priorities among others were to uplift the welfare of public media institutions.
“Being a media practitioner myself, I understand problems our public media institutions are currently facing. They are crippled with huge debts. I want to make sure they are recapitalised and modernised to operate at a much desirable standard,” he said.
He would ensure the three media houses were fully connected to social networks such as facebook, twitter coupled with effective websites for people in the Diaspora to access news from Zambia.
Mr Mwamba would directly engage the ministry of Finance to help with funding on recapitalisation of the public media institutions to enable them expand their operations and be accessed globally.
“This is one of first issues I will fight for because I want to put these institutions in an updated standard to be accessed by people globally. Look at BBC, it is well updated and this is my focus also,” he said
He urged the public media heads to closely work with him by identifying institutions especially ministries that had outstanding debts so he could dialogue with them.
Mr Mwamba said the institutions had fundamental roles in highlighting and educating people on various Government developmental projects being implemented countrywide.
Besides developmental projects, he said, other significant issues the media could highlight were the fight against cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS and Government’s continued quest to create massive jobs.
He also pledged to provide wise leadership that President Sata had entrusted him and newly appointed Minister Mwansa Kapeya to champion professionalism and objective reporting in all media houses.
Mr Mwamba assured that he would use his new role at the ministry to fight for development but that journalists should also assist by reporting accurately and objectively.
He said journalists should uphold their ethnics saying inappropriate reporting triggered misunderstandings among people especially that public media institutions used taxpayers’ monies.
On the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill, he said, the bill could be tabled during the forthcoming parliamentary He cautioned journalists that the growing tendency of some ministers always wanting preferred reporters to cover them should cease as it was compromising their work and professionalism.
“I think issues of reporters being favourable to some ministers should cease because every reporter employed by TIMES or ZNBC can report. Where ever they go, they represent their institutions,” he said.