By KASONDE KASONDE -
Plans are underway for a convention of local media to come up with resolutions to help promote professionalism in the fraternity.
Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Kampamba Mulenga said in a few weeks’ time, and working in conjuction with the United Nation (UN), the Government would hold an indaba with representatives from both the public and the private media houses.
Ms Mulenga also said her ministry was improvising with the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) to have journalists go through training before they begin their practice as currently there was a lot of unprofessionalism.
She said the role of her ministry was to protect the media fraternity against disseminating information that was full of unsubstantiated claims and lies as well as guiding it against being blacklisted for misleading the public.
“It is very sad what we have today…where you find people going to work with over five newspapers to verify whether the information was factual as some media houses are in the habit of misleading the public with false stories. This is uncalled for,” Ms Mulenga said.
The minister was speaking in Lusaka during the Speak Zambia Project Citizen Journalism training workshop yesterday.
She said citizens should be able to get a newspaper, knowing that the information was authentic without having to look through all newspapers on the streets to aggregate the truth.
Ms Mulenga said it was important to understand that unbiased positive reporting was the real soul of journalism which helped to build an optimistic and healthy democratic society.
And Speak Zambia Citizen journalist Florence Mabaso said 250 young people were trained to understand their role as citizens with regard to holding the leaders in the country accountable.
Ms Mabaso said the training empowered the youths with skills to understand the way public money works and how to connect with the problems in the communities.
She said the youths were able to film, record, edit and package stories using phones to capture problems affecting the communities.
Speaking earlier when UN resident coordinator Janet Rogan accompanied by UN governance supervisor Michael Soko paid a courtesy call on her Ms Mulenga commended the UN for the role it plays in alleviating poverty and building institutional capacity in Zambia.
Ms Mulenga said it was important that the UN and Government reinforce their partnership in order to create effective oversight in the implementation of the Government policies towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
She said the Government was committed to working towards the achievement of the SDGs and commended the UN for the key role it plays in alleviating poverty.
Ms Rogan expressed happiness towards the holding of an indaba for media practioners and pledged the UN’s support towards the hosting of the event.