Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Dora Siliya, says assertions by some quarters of the media that Government is against privately owned media are not only incorrect but misleading.
Ms. Siliya says this is because the private media like public media have a critical role to play in bridging the information gap but also contribute significantly to the country’s economy through employment creation.
Speaking when she toured Diamond Television in Lusaka this afternoon, Ms. Siliya said Government will always view private media organisations as key partners in national development.
Ms. Siliya said stressed that while the private media offer a platform for critical voices, the criticism targeted at Government must be constructive and help provide solutions to some of the challenges the country is going through.
She said it will not do for some critics to criticize Government without offering alternative solutions for Government to consider.
“We are not scared of being criticized. All we are asking is that when people criticize us, let them criticize us and offer alternative solutions and not insults,” Ms. Siliya said.
She said there is also need for the media to balance their news by giving Government a platform to respond and address issues raised by its critics.
Ms. Siliya who is also Chief Government Spokesperson said this would help citizens to make informed decisions.
She stressed that everything Government does is for the people of Zambia and as such the public should be fed with correct information.
The minister said it is the responsibility of media houses to verify stories before publishing because this is what separates fake news from correct news.
Ms. Siliya commended Diamond Television for having set high standards for the station by having a clear editorial policy and minimum qualifications for journalists employed there.
And Ms. Siliya commended Diamond Television for taking a lead in promoting local content.
She said the move is key in promoting the local film industry.
Meanwhile, Diamond Television Chief Executive Officer Costa Mwansa said the television station strives to be relevant in terms of providing quality content.
He said as a business, the station has come up with a number of innovations that are aimed at keeping it afloat and effectively compete locally and internationally.
Mr. Mwansa named the use of various technologies as one among other innovations the TV station has come up with.