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Alba Iulia
Monday, June 27, 2022

Government should take a lead in supporting science communication relating to investigative journalism

General News Government should take a lead in supporting science communication relating to investigative...

An NGO called Dziwa Science and Technology Trust has called on the government to take a lead in supporting science communication relating to investigative journalism.

Dziwa Science and Technology Truest Founder and Executive Director Veronica Mwaba said science investigative journalism has been identified as a major gap in media development to promote independence, quality and innovation.

Mrs. Mwaba observed that investigative journalism is an expensive undertaking that needs coordinated support from stakeholders such as the government.

She said Dziwa Science and Technology Trust’s research shows that media entities are not keen to commit adequate resources to thorough investigations as they did before.

Mrs said there was a need for the Ministry of Information and Media plus the Ministry of Science and Technology to take lead in the coordination of key stakeholders willing to provide resources to support investigative journalism.

She said Zambians are in dire need of verified information to assist them make informed life decisions about medical care, food choices, and application of modern technologies in the day-to-day business among others.

“Investigative journalism is an expensive undertaking. It has been identified as a major gap in media development to promote independence, quality and innovation. Research shows, media entities are not keen to commit adequate resources to journalism investigations as they did before. In this case, science journalism is no exception,” she said in Lusaka.

“Why should the Zambia Government support science communication? The new dawn Government is looking forward to accelerating change towards a better life for all Zambians. Hence there is a need to invest in science journalism towards economic recovery post COVID-19 pandemic. Society needs verified information to assist them make informed life decisions about medical care, food choices, and application of modern technologies in the day-to-day business among others. Therefore, different approaches are utilised to reach the target audience.”

Mrs Mwaba added:”Public Private Partnership (PPP) for media development. Accurate and timely information is critical in the developmental agenda. We call upon the Information and Media Ministry (MIM), Science and Technology to take lead in the coordination of key stakeholders willing to provide resources to support the work of independent journalists with brilliant ideas but lack resources to do their work. Deliberate space should be created for diversity and inclusion to allow reporters to compete for grants.”

“Therefore, PPPs should be involved in media platforms that integrate communication with a new vision to build support for evidence-based science. Access to resources will enable distinct journalists the independence to produce high-quality and unbiased stories. Consequently, policy makers, civil society and ordinary citizens among others will be impacted with knowledge to make positive contributions that accelerate progress towards socio-economic development,” she said.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Very well said Madam Veronica Mwaba. As we move towards a “data driven economy”. The Digitisation concept and policy has to be interpreted to not just mean digitisation but digitalisation too. There is enormous transformational economic potential in both concepts. Therefore, making deliberate steps in also creating the necessary regulatory framework around data in terms of access and transformation into Information would be a good start. Government being the biggest data custodian must take the lead in regularising access to its huge data silos. This will then lead to digitisation and digitalisation.
    If we talk about job creation, this is one place to start. However, this has to be matched with the cultivation of knowhow. A curriculum investment in colleges up and down the country…

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