President Edgar Lungu has advised the media fraternity in the country to be professional in their line of duty.
The Head of State observed glaring disregard for journalism ethos coupled with sustained political bias among journalists and further appalled at the amount of effort put in by the media in seeing the conflict between him and his political rivals.
Speaking at State House Friday afternoon when he engaged with the media, President Lungu urged them not to be crusaders of conflict between political players but to provide a forum for public discourse and compromise.
“You need to create a chasm between journalism and social media craze. This no one can do apart from yourselves because social media is for all while journalism is for trained communicators but if you allow all and sundry to masquerade as journalists, your profession will perish,” the Head of State advised.
He regretted that with social media the truth is less important and the more exaggerated or inaccurate the communication is the more it seems to attract readership.
President Lungu, however, expressed pride that since the Patriotic Government assumed office there have been great developments in the media, including the digitizing of the airwaves.
The Head of State acknowledged the expansion of the media industry with the private sector taking the lead in the formation of radio and television companies as well as the recruitment of young Zambians to take up positions in the new broadcasting companies.
And speaking at the same function, MISA Zambia Vice Chairperson Hyde Haguta commended President Edgar Lungu for holding a media interaction with journalists from both government and private media at Statehouse.
In his vote of thanks, Mr. Haguta emphasized the need for a free press in order to allow the media to report freely on various developmental projects taking place in the country.
“There is a need to allow the media to report freely on the many developmental projects your government is implementing various parts of the country,” Mr. Haguta stated.
The MISA Vice President also handed over to President Lungu the 2019 quarterly State of the Media Report.
And Speaking at the end of the event , Political Adviser to the President, Mr. Kaizar Zulu said that the advent of social media was very welcome because it provided information in real-time.
Mr. Zulu, however, said the downside to social media is the mushrooming of not so credible media platforms were falsehoods are peddled with impunity.
He observed that the malicious news that is being published on some social media sites works to daint the image of the nation and has wondered what it benefits those that are in the habit of doing so.
He has urged the media especially online Journalists to be vigilant in verifying everything before publishing if they are to be taken seriously as credible media outlets.