The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has called on the media houses across the country to observe professionalism and produce content which is valuable to the Zambian community.
IBA Director for standards, Licensing and Compliance, Eustace Nkandu has urged the media to conduct thorough research on their programmes in order to give out accurate and balanced news stories for public consumption.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS yesterday, Mr. Nkandu noted that most broadcasting stations are focusing on talk shows which do not have sufficient content for the viewers.
“A number of stations have had too many talk shows to an extent that one wonders what happens to their production because they are rarely in the field as everything is studio based,” he said.
He said to some people that could be a sign of laziness by the media houses as they cannot have all productions done in studio.
Mr. Nkandu encouraged broadcasting stations to invest more in research for balanced and comprehensive coverage of events.
He added that the media has a long way to go in terms of compliance with the IBA regulations starting from payment of license fees as there has been quite a number of stations struggling to do so.
“There are many community radio stations struggling to pay an annual fee of K2000.00,” he stated.
He said as a regulator, his institution is looking into how it can help the community radio stations operate in a manner which could help them to raise at least operational fees for them to meet their many obligations.
Mr. Nkandu also encouraged the public to exercise their right to complain about the content of the media houses if they are not happy with it.
He further added that, the respective media houses have an obligation to address the complaints by the public as it is a form of feedback mechanisms.
Mr. Nkandu has since urged the media houses to employ qualified journalists to carry out the work of informing and educating the public in an objective manner.
Meanwhile, the National Arts Council of Zambia has commended government for transferring the collection of TV levy to the IBA as the move broadens opportunities and access to the TV levy funds in order to promote local content.
NAC Director, Maanka Chipindi said the biggest challenge for local producers is access to finance and with the move, most producers will stand to benefit from it.