It is inevitable that for every organisation to operate smoothly, there must be a set of guidelines or rules to govern it or else ignoring this important aspect would create a chaotic situation.
So shall it be even in media coverage. Orderliness ought to prevail and this can only be so where guidelines of operations apply such as the model established by the Zambia Media Council (Zamec).
But where there is no set of rules then it leaves a situation where some individual rights are violated with impunity or privacy invaded in some instances.
The Zamec model has come at a right time when the media in Zambia was desperate for self regulation and operated without a set of ethics to guide anyone in the industry on how they should operate.
Ethics try to regulate excesses or extremism or sensational reporting which may be injurious to some parties concerned.
Without proper guidelines, anyone was free to report anyhow without due consideration of many other factors or respect for rights of individuals. Some people who felt that they could express themselves or write were posing as media practitioners but of course without any rules to guide them in their course of duty.
The Zamec model seeks among another things, to bring about sanity in the media industry in the quest to promote democracy while protecting the rights of individuals.
We are alive to the fact that the media plays a vital role in society mainly to inform, educate and entertain, among other but this ought to be done in a responsible manner without distorting any facts.
It is in this quest that we agree with the sentiments aired by Times printpak Managing director Mr Godfrey Malama in defence of the model being used by the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC ) to enforce media ethics in Zambia.
Zamec seeks to give guidance on how the media in Zambia ought to operate.This was when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Information and Broadcasting chaired by MMD Kasempa Member of Parliament (MP) Kabinga Pande.
He was responding to queries on Media ethics in Zambia, the general perspective and challenges of enforcement.
The Zamec rules also give power to anyone who feels injured by any publication to complain to it for action to be meted out on an erring journalist or for those found wanting to be censured.
Much as the media would want to operate freely in Zambia, they ought to follow a set of rules to guide them in their daily activities for sanity to prevail.
But we do realise that even if the Zamec model is being alluded to as the one to use in media operations, some officers may be ignorant of its existence.
It is, therefore, incumbent upon all media houses to make an effort to access this model and sensitise their members on its contents so that they do not go against it in their course of duty.
The written rules should be posted on the notice boards of every media house for strict adherence and act as a tool for every media practitioner to follow.