Saturday, July 20, 2024

Zambia has Seen a Deterioration of Ethical Journalism, Influx of Untrained Media Personnel partly to blame-President Lungu

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President Edgar Lungu has said that Zambia has seen a deterioration of ethical journalism because of the new media companies hiring untrained personnel to run newsrooms and the inability of media houses to raise enough funds and train the staff to objectively report on issues.

Speaking on the eve of World Press Freedom, the President said that broadcasting is a very delicate media, and if mishandled, words said on television and radio could plunge a country into civil strife.

The President further said that the country has witnessed misquoting of sources, the omission of information to suit the journalist’s agenda, exaggeration of events, and distortion of information, adding that in newspapers, the same sources are quoted over and over again and their agendas dictating coverage.

The President also said that the commercial side the media remains troubled as a result of few companies ready to give media house business in terms of advertising.

“It is a fact that there are very few companies willing to advertise on these media platforms. It is because of this challenge that media companies are unable to raise enough revenue to employ trained personnel,” the President said.

The President said that the untrained journalists then demand that their sources pay them for coverage and that this, in itself, compromises the journalists as they cannot report objectively.

The President also said that the country has seen political players, to a larger extent influence, what is put out by some media organisations and that the news and programmes of these media organisations are skewed towards propagating the agenda of their political sponsors, adding that these sponsored media houses are utterly biased and no amount of good can be written about other political players even if they did anything positive.

Below is the President’s full speech

Tomorrow, 3rd May 2020, journalists commemorate World Press Freedom – a day when they reflect on their profession. I, therefore, wish to applaud you, Zambian journalists, on this special day for your dedication to duty in informing, educating and entertaining masses as we work together to develop our country.

More importantly, I would like to praise you for your commitment to duty as you continue to inform and educate masses during this difficult time as we, as a country, and the whole world, fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

You are frontline workers, as long as you continue informing the country about the pandemic because you cannot report from home, you have to go out, and may come into harm’s way.

You are very critical in this fight because, your accurate reporting and analysis of the situation we are in, is key in uniting all of us as we fight the COVID-19. I must say so far, the coverage has been fair as you have focussed more on official information. More importantly, you have educated and sensitised masses adequately about how to protect themselves against the coronavirus.

Members of the press,

I am glad to state that the Patriotic Front Government has invested massively in the development of the media with the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting standing out in the quest to develop the media in Zambia.

The digitisation of the media in Zambia has given way to the plurality of media channels. Conversely, the operationalisation of the Independent Broadcasting Authority has been a milestone that has seen the licensing of over a hundred broadcasting houses in Zambia.

Currently, there are 39 licensed television companies, and 134 radio stations. This development has not just seen the employment of our young people in these companies, but has seen the plurality of voices in the media and the media has become a real marketplace of ideas. We have also witnessed quality picture and sound because of the digitisation of broadcasting.

Members of the press,
The multiplication of television channels has equally seen a plethora of challenges. These are:

Unethical journalism – the country has seen a deterioration of ethical journalism, and this is, partly, as a result of the new media companies hiring untrained personnel to run newsrooms. Broadcasting is a very delicate media and if mishandled, words said on television and radio could plunge a country into civil strife.
We have witnessed misquoting of sources, omission of information to suit the journalist’s agenda, exaggeration of events, and distortion of information.
In newspapers we have seen same sources being quoted over and over again and their agendas dictating coverage. Conversely, we have seen newspapers using such sources to foster their agenda. The recruitment of untrained staff is directly related to the next challenge:

Small Media Market – much as the media has expanded in the country, the commercial side remains troubled as a result of few companies ready to give these companies business in terms of advertising. It is a fact that there are very few companies willing to advertise on these media platforms. It is because of this challenge that media companies are unable to raise enough revenue to employ trained personnel. Untrained journalists then demand that their sources pay them for coverage. This, in itself, compromises these journalists as they cannot report objectively. Related to this challenge is:

Political Influence – we have seen political players, to a larger extent influence, what is put out by some media organisations. The news and programmes of these media organisations are skewed towards propagating the agenda of their political sponsors. These sponsored media are utterly biased and no amount of good can be written about other political players even if they did anything positive.

These and many others are the challenges the media faces today. Most disappointing is the fact that the media has todate failed to come up with a media council, a body that would have cleaned up unprofessionalism in the media. Failure to form this media body, coupled with the advent of social media, has meant people failing to distinguish a journalist from other ordinary communicators. And until journalists realise the importance of a media council, they will continue to grumble as social media activists continue to take up their space.

On my part, I still realise the importance of professional journalism, whose importance is clearly seen in this COVID-19 fight. As I join journalists in remembering their day, I end by encouraging those media practitioners who are untrained to use some of their time to go to school to build their capacity. It is never late.

Long live professional journalism.

54 COMMENTS

  1. Zambia has seen major deterioration of its Kwacha value ,its economic growth and foreign exchange reserves Bwana Lungu. That’s where our focus should be and NOT journalists.

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  2. Speaking on the eve of World Press Freedom, the President said that broadcasting is a very delicate media, and if mishandled, words said on television and radio could plunge a country into civil strife.

    I DON’T THINK ONLY WORDS SAID ON TV AND RADIO BUT EVEN WORDS SAID IN BEDROOMS, AT POLITICAL GATHERINGS LIKE ONE YALUMA HAD AND NOT TO LONG AGO NKANDU LUO, NYELA AND MUTALE, INFACT WORDS SAID IN SECRET PLACES ARE EVEN MORE DEADLY BECAUSE NO ONE WILL CENSOR OR COUNTER AS A RESULT THOSE LISTEN WILL TAKE THEM AS GOSPEL TRUTH, I WONDER WHAT PERCEPTIONS THOSE VILLAGERS YALUMA WAS ADDRESSING HAVE ABOUT THE PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY.

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  3. I don’t think it’s about training.
    Look at Sunday Chanda, the PF MEDIA, I mean it MEDIA director what kind of journalism is that? That is is pure what Ba Edgar is refering to. Totally unethical.
    LT don’t delete my comment, its unethical.

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  4. This is true my boss. We have also seen a growth of cow boy online news sites such as watchdog which are sponsored guns of opposition parties aimed at tarnishing the government and commiting treasonous acts. My president I hope you will accept the proposal I am working on to tax all online news media outlets in Zambia and also to bring about powers to block their websites should they sponsor or allow fake news publication. Also we need powers to trace some of these diasporans and issue legal proceedings against them. Kz

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  5. What a jokester this lazy man is…he has killed journalism in Zambia the same way he killed the economy reduced us to perpetual beggars.

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  6. Nostradmus, l think take you time and understanding content. Sunday if not a journalist. He is heading a news desk for pf just other parties. But what the presido is talking g about is the mukola nkani houses who are using untrained.

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  7. Tarino you were a beggar before pf came to power that is why you begged your way to become an asylum seeker in Europe. So please do not use us as a scapegoat for your own failures. Walichikopo ku skulu many decades ago ati its pf to blame. Haha useless little man

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  8. Mwansambulu don’t mind these illiterate folk. They don’t ever read articles, they only comment based on their political and tribal bias. That is why I call them worse than dogs because even a stubborn dog can be taught or trained but these diasporans like nostra and tarino are stiff necked ignorant buffoons

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  9. KZ you and Lungu should stop deviating from the real issues and blaming innocent diasporans and journalists.

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  10. Mzambia I can assure you that all the diasporans who comment negative and hurtful evil things about their birth country, left Zambia before we came to power. So it is very redundant for them to blame us for their failures.failures in life will always find a blame for their failure. They complain more than actual xambians who live in Zambia so I wonder how their lives are there if they are so sad and still suffering where they are to keep complaining and criticising a country they are no longer a Citizen of nor reside in ..you explain to me why they are as they are. I am waiting

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  11. Ba Lungu insoni mulekwata ko! After closing prime TV and shutting down the post for political reasons you have the audacity to address us on professionalism. For instance when you stole that poor widows money as a legal practitioner how else was the media supposed to report it? You stole and it was reported as such kwapwa.

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  12. The only sensible diasporans are nine chale and disaporan lady and a select few others. The rest are just a pile of faeces yeka yeka fye. In fact I even want to meet diasporan lady when I visit Europe soon. Diasporan lady email me sweety. Kz

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  13. The people vs oj have you been reading zambia watch dog for news ? Because even a villager in vubwi knows that it is IBA which made the decision to close those clowns prime TV.

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  14. By the way, the people vs OJ, EC lungu who incorrectly placed client money on firms account instead clients, learned from his errors as he is human. He learned from his mistakes so well that he worked hard to prove himself and is now president of the republic of Zambia . Meanwhile hh who stole from the country during privatisation is not a president and will never be. That in itself says it all. Kz

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  15. No no no
    What Zambia has seen is the Deterioration of Ethical of the office of the President which has been infiltrated by a clueless drunk.

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  16. No no no
    What Zambia has seen is the Deterioration of Ethics of the office of the President which has been infiltrated by a clueless drunk.
    The sooner we send you back to Chawama the sooner the dignity of the office will be restored.

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  17. Lab technicians have now become presidential advisors….. that how low the office has sunk

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  18. In Africa, it is ‘unethical’ for journalists to expose bad deeds by government. That is why independent media is systematically getting shut down on flimsy grounds. #BallyWillFixIt.

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  19. KK and UNIP never closed any independent media
    FTJ and MMD never closed any independent media
    RB and MMD never closed any independent media
    Sata and true PF never closed any independent media
    ECL and PF-MMD closed the Post and Prime TV
    I rest my case

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  20. KZ

    Times of Zambia,2 August 2010
    PF Lawyer Banned Over Client Funds
    PATRIOIC Front chairperson for the committee on legal affairs Edgar Lungu has been suspended from practising as a lawyer with immediate effect on allegations of misappropriating money meant for retirees of Lafarge which was formerly known as Chilanga cement plc.

    This is according to a letter dated July 30, 2010 and signed by Law Association of Zambia(LAZ) honorary secretary Musa Mwenye and copied to all relevant institutions and individuals that deal with lawyers.

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  21. No matter how much it can be sugar coated…. the sale by date of Lungu is long gone….
    he will soon release how lonely life can be when parasites run away from him…. and how much he will have to answer for.

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  22. @Kaiser u can tell yourself whatever gets you through the night. Read the ruling that was passed by LAZ, in it your president admitted his misdeeds. And we all know IBA’s composition is that of patriotic front sympathisers and surrogates. Perhaps I should end by remininding you that zambians cannot be fooled any longer. We are seeing everything that is going on with clear eyes.

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  23. The president has encourage untrained jounarists to go back to school, so what is your worry you morons in the diaspora? Just tell that ex camera man the owner of prim tv to go back to school thats so.

  24. Thank you Mr President for recognizing that training is needed. However, you pointed the fingers at wrong people. Education is Governments responsibility and that is why you have two ministries devoted to this. If training is mediocre which we can agree with, where has your government that collects taxi from the people been taking the money for this service? Look in the mirror and tell yourself the real trust! Do it when you are sober the answer will be more correct!

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  25. Independent – KK never closed any media house as he didn’t have to as they didn’t exist…Christian Radio was popular at the time because it took on the regime head-on. The likes of RB and Mwanawasa are ones I can point to for their tolerance.

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  26. Strange that this is coming from a president who doesn’t open himself to press interviews. He could also do eith a copy of Mumba Malila’s book CONTOURS OF A DEVELOPING JURISPRUDENCE with a foreword from Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima herself.

  27. @Kaizer Zulu, …I feel like insulting your thuggish self real bad by calling you all kinds of names. But I’ve restrained myself. Instead, I assume that at least you have the ability to rub your two brain cells together and understand what I’m about to say. Firstly, for any democratic process in a given country to thrive and succeed, freedom of the press should be an integral part of the process. A well informed populace participates better in the democratic process, and get to know how to vote wisely. The press help hold people in power accountable and gives a report to the rest of the citizens on their leaders’ performance. Dictatorial governments, such as what we currently have in Zambia under Lungu, try to suppress freedom of the press, because dictatorships thrive and survive…

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  28. … on people’s ignorance. Keep information from people, and you can easily control them. PF know that and they’ve acted on it by shutting down all media outlets that seem to be critical of them. Instead, they’ve allowed the Chinese to infiltrate ZNBC, to effectively turn it into a mass media propaganda machine. Currently, you fools are working on aligning everybody in Zambia to focus on ZNBC, instead of private media outlets. That’s why you’ve virtually shut down all alternative news outlets. In a democratic system, not all news media outlets will support the ruling party. News media outlets can report on events and pass an opinion on them. There’s no law against that. CNN and Fox News do that all the time in America. CNN is mainly critical of Trump’s administration, and…

  29. It’s an irony that this pathetic ***** would be the one complaining about So called “new media companies hiring untrained personnel to run newsrooms”. What political advice is he getting from Kainyokola “MalyaMungu” Zulu or what does Prof. of Tribalism Nkandu Lunyo know about fisheries? Smell of fish between her legs doesn’t make her an expert in that field, ala.

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  30. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    Mr Lungu is a fun man. I would be laughing if he was running a comic de circus but this is a man entrusted with instruments of leadership responsibilities to run the affairs of our country. So it can’t be a joker matter.

    The irony, contradiction and hypocrisy in his statement are staggering. First look at public media who were supposed to be neutral but have been turned into PF political propaganda vuvuzelas. How ethical or unethical is that?

    To him he wants every media house to kneel to him and sing his praises even in the face of his govt’s rampant corruption, incompetence and poor performance. If they criticize him, they are unethical and he chooses to shut them down, The Post, Prine TV. If they scratch his back and praise him, they are professionals, ZNBC and public newspapers…

  31. Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans Corruption scandals: 48 Houses Social Security Cash Luxury Presidential Jet Ambulances Fire Trucks Mukula Trees Ndola-Lusaka Rd Malawi Maizegate Fuelgate Swaziland landgate Zesco Loans

    The only unethical, corrupt, despot, tinpot dictator is Lungu. So please sir sit down and STFUP! Just enjoy your loot instead of rubbing it in our faces… you are the last person to offer advice on ethics – you have none!

    “With great power comes great responsibility”!

  32. Heading should read:
    “Zambia has Seen Deterioration of Ethical Leadership, Influx of Corrupt Politicians Partly to Blame”

  33. I can see that I have silenced all the Diaspora buffoons on this article as they have all gone into hiding. Cretins!

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  34. @Roy, awe have respect for people as you air your thoughts….You came from a woman, that in itself should make you sensor your thoughts in public!

  35. 1. “Social media is for all, while journalism is for trained communicators (Professionals). But if you allow all and sundry to masquerade as journalists, your profession will perish and you will have yourselves to blame”, ECL, POTROZ and CICOTAFS.

    2. “The country has witnessed misquoting of sources, the omission of information to suit the journalist’s agenda, exaggeration of events, and distortion of information; in newspapers, the same sources are quoted over and over again and their agendas dictating coverage” ~ H.E. POTROZ.

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  36. I like the message from His Excellency. Straightforward and the fact that he recognised Journalists as essential workers shows that he appreciates the profession and the risk they continue to take as they report during this time. @ Kaizar, I totally back your proposal for bringing sanity to online platforms as well. There’s really a rise in the number of people spreading fake news and messages of hate towards the Government and the nation which does not paint a good picture for our country and also for those of us that are still proudly Zambian Citizens. I will definitely send you a message if you’re on Facebook and share my contact number with you. Cheers!!

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  37. The man has no shame…….

    Lungu uses violent PF thugs to silence all those critical of his corruption, ask Sean tembo or laura mitti……

    And shuts down any critical media and uses the useless ZNBC as a PF parrot , that is why social media is popular among Zambians ……..

    Why do you think prime tv was popular ????

    As we approach 2021 , I must remind the opposition to start training their activists in the use of concealed video recording devices, these are very cheap, under $50.

    No one will belive lungus violence and democratic oppression without video footage. Video footage will bring down this corrupt violent regime.

  38. I was reading the CIA declassified report on the George Bush – KK meeting at the White House in 1988. Look at the competence and ethnic diversity of his delegation, one is left in awe with respect and admiration of what we were once capable of. Imagine Lungu pitching up with Kainyo Zulu & Lusambo for such a meeting, masalamusi eka eka!

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  39. From villain to hero. And from hero back to villain big time in just five years. All self inflicted by the way.

  40. This coming from a man responsible for closing any media organization with opposing views. Diversity in media reporting must be encouraged. We don’t want to hear what you want us to hear, we want to hear everything and make our own judgements and conclusions. Where is freedom when you are busy dictating this is madness and that is why PF doesn’t prosper, they need to check themselves they don’t do what they preach. Failure has been the hallmark of the PF and I am ashamed to have voted for such a useless and dysfunctional party in the first place. PF is a lost cause people shot themselves in leg by voting for them.

  41. Kaizar Zulu © , ECL IS NOT A BOSS BUT AN ELECTED PUBLIC SERVANT. THAT TERM CAN ONLY BE USED BY BOOTLICKERS… I HAVEN’T FINISHED READING THIS ARTICLE FOR OBVIOUS REASONS…. IF YOU DONT LIKE SOCIAL MEDIA SHUT IT DOWN LIKE IN NORTH KOREA. AND WAIT AND SEE WHAT THE YOUTH WILL DO TO YOU IN 2021. ALLOW PEOPLE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES. THAT IS DEMOCRACY…YOU CAN NOT HAVE A CAKE AND EAT IT….PF WAS HELPED IN 2011 BY THE SAME MEDIA…WHAT HAS CHANGED NOW…

  42. The president is 100% right!! Any civilised person would close The Post Newspaper,Prime TV and Zambiawarchdog for not being objective.It is only in Zambia where opinions from those who hate govnt(e.g.Msoni,Dante,Dipark Patel,Kainde,Kalaba,CK,etc) make headlines on daily basis.Since when did personal opinions became news?I really get pazzled.These companies hire G12 school dropouts as journalists whom they pay K600 to K1200 a month.Then greedy politicians such as Kainde,who thinks Zambians owe him the presidency,bribe these fake reporters to start campaigning for him everyday.IT IS TERRIBLE!!!Some local media houses only have thenselves to blame!!!

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  43. Kaizar Sulu before you propose evil tax for all online news media outlets in Zambia and also to bring about powers to block their websites. Can you account for your sudden wealth, which lottery do you win as a civil servant, how much has ZRA received from you or of they know how you are making millions.
    By the way why did Sata fire you?

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  44. @Tarino Orange
    The Weekly Post made its name in 1991 and gave UNIP problems. But KK never closed it.
    The only other independent media during the UNIP days was Multimedia based in Kabulonga which was part of the catholic press.
    Christian voice only came on the scene in 1994

  45. @KALIZ_2021 what has changed is being “choked” by corruption; hence conflicting incentives, discretionary powers, monopolistic powers, lack of transparency and a culture of impunity.

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