A media expert has called on stakeholders in the media industry to relentlessly educate media practitioners for a hasty accomplishment of professionalism and ethical reportage in Zambia.
Brenda Bukowa, a University of Zambia, Department of Media and Communication Studies Lecturer observes that some media owners have the propensity of coercing their own ideologies as opposed to professional coverage enshrined in journalism ethics and standards which is gradually killing objectivity in most of media houses across the country.
“People that are running private media organizations have political ideologies that they tend to affiliate their mandate to at the expense of their editorial policies” Ms. Bukowa said.
In an interview, Ms. Bukowa who is also a PhD fellow at University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa has alleged that some media house proprietors constrain their reporters to be bias in their reportage which is not right for the journalists because they are made to report in a biased manner only to safeguard their jobs.
“Journalists don’t own these media houses so if one finds a media owner who expects him/her to write in a particular way the journalists begin to write in order to please their bosses which is killing objectivity” She said.
Ms. Bukowa has since stressed the need for stakeholders such as Media Training Schools, Government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other significant media players in Zambia to swiftly come up with deliberate policies and educate media owners the basic need for professionalism in their respective media houses.
“although time for finger pointing is long gone, right now the media is very biased, untruthful and tend to want to discredit one organization at the expense of the basics of journalism which is very embarrassing situation in Zambia ” she said.
And Brenda Bukowa who is also a media consultant said the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) should consider embarking on a sensitization programme with media owners about objectivity and professionalism in the media fraternity because owners mostly have the ultimate say on any matter pertaining to a media house.
She also urged the interested stakeholders to undertake recommended sensitization programmes to first target media owners especially those who are not trained as journalists because it is obvious that they lack media knowledge and ethics and that is the biggest challenge in Zambia when it comes to media houses.
“If the CSOs are to embark on this proposed sensitization programme, they should target first those media owners who are not journalists” Ms. Bukowa said