The Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU) has said journalists in Zambia and globally need protection not just from governments but more so from bad media owners who abuse these journalists by forcing them to be unethical or replace qualified reporters with mediocre ones who can do their bidding.
In a statement released to the media by ZANASU president Misheck Kakonde, ZANASU called for the media to exercise the highest responsibility in fair and accurate coverage of news especially that the media has always championed self-regulation against statutory regulation.
ZANASU said that it understood the noble task that the media has to the country and also appreciate the commitment, pressures and challenges that individual journalists have to subject themselves to keeping the public well-informed. For this very reason, the student body stood firm in calling for protecting of journalists against media owners who are driven by desires to make profits than the primary responsibility the media houses have to their countries and the public.
ZANASU said that it will always stand firm in protecting of press freedom but called upon media owners to pay serious attention to improving the conditions of service for professional journalists who stake their souls, happiness and liberties to keep the nation accurately informed.
Coupled with constant training and re-training of journalists, ZANASU said that it believed that it is time media owners end the ill-treatment and poor working conditions among journalists, and the offering of slave wages to professionals who belong to the noble profession of journalism. Government must take interest in the conditions of service for most of our professional men and women responsible for protecting our democracy through their tireless efforts on gathering and disseminating accurate information.