THE use of a file picture during news bulletins is the most innovative way to make up for lack of a current picture to go with a story.
It is, however, an injustice if a particular story has its own picture and a television station opts to use a file picture in the news headlines.
There is nothing wrong with using a file picture in the headlines but it must be realised that the viewers’ appetite is aroused better if the headline gives a preview of what is to be shown in the full story.
A case in point is on Monday last week when ZNBC used a file picture on a story about the questioning of Kasama Member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba at Woodlands stadium.
The file picture on the headlines showed Mr Mwamba speaking during a campaign rally somewhere else before the fully story aired with Katwishi Bwalya’s well packaged report showing the former defence minister arriving at the police station, entering the interrogation room and departing.
If the use of a file picture was the only option that was left to the producers on the day, what would have been ideal is showing a file picture of Mr Mwamba’s previous visits to the same police station if it is there in the picture library.
I have also seen other file pictures on ZNBC where they are quoting President Michael Sata’s Facebook page and while the Head of State is discussing massive upgrade of roads his Government has embarked on, the station shows him swearing in an ambassador!
Previously ZNBC has used the picture of the Magistrate Court Complex building when covering a story of litigants appearing before courts of law and to their credit, the station has cleverly used the picture of the respective court that the cases being reported took place.
The same has been happening during the coverage of the Kasumbalesa fracas which was sparked by the killing of a truck driver.
Even when the report is about rioting Chililabombwe and Kasumbalesa residents or the deployment of more police officers to the area, ZNBC consistently showed truck drivers seemingly relaxing over an improvised prepared meal.
It also beats me why the national broadcaster through out last week kept using a file picture of Nkana players doing pre-match formalities from an old match every time they carried a report on the 12 times Zambian league kings CAF Champions League outing in Swaziland.
I am very sure that ZNBC has several clips from the 30 league matches Nkana played last season and the least viewers want to see is an old footage of players shaking hands in a match that is so inconsequential to the report.
It is refreshing to see the programming on ZNBC targeted at school going pupils. I have in mind the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) Energy quizz and its timing right when all pupils are back from class.
I watched an interesting quizz last week between St Mary’s and Kamwala High School where they battled it out to answer questions that even I would struggle to get correct.
Such programmes should idealy dominate our screens so that children educative time on television unlike the uncensored channels they end up watching in the name of the parents enjoying Telemundo and the likes.
By the way, I was among the people who were jubilating about the end of My Heart Beats for Lola and Precious Rose on Telemundo little did I know that another series was being added in form of Forbiden Passions and Cruel Love.
Here is from the mailbag:
This week, I want to acknowledge the good efforts and the creativity that the Kitwe studios crew exhibits.
Lunch break is one of the exceptional productions I wish to recognise. When Kitwe studios presenters are on set, three things I read on their faces, I am interested in what I am doing, I am serious with what I am doing and I value you the viewer.
Each time there are figures in the news; local language news readers have opted to read them in English. That could be their style.
In this New Year, Government means business on local languages.
ZNBC could help us by reading out the figures in local language.
In the past week, Lunzuwa hydro-power station was in the news for two consecutive days.
The news casters on the 19 hours news on both days mispronounced Lunzuwa. It’s a common hydro-power station therefore I did not expect that lapse.
We could forgive other colleageus on the pronunciation mishap but not Master Chimbala. Well, let me give a scenario before I drive my point.
The most common way of researching nowadays is going to the search engine- Google.
Without going to such great lengths I could say a few things off hand about the Home Affairs Minister. He is a seasoned Lawyer, he was head of ZIALE.
Meaning he has been around for a long time for a news reader to master his name.
And now that he is a government minister, news readers are expected to read his name and that of others with their ‘eyes closed’.
Supposing Dr Ngosa Simbyakula’s name was wrongly written on Chimbala’s Script. He could have easily noted.
In this month of love Muvi TV has come up with an interesting idea, to feature prominent couples telling us about their love story.
In their promotion Muvi TV encourages us to look out for the programme without giving any further details on the time and day we are expected to watch it. With the schedules people have, it is important to be specific.
Dear Manchishi, hope all is well .I am one of your regular readers of column.
Allow me to pass my observations on the above subject.
Most often I have seen news clips on ZNBC where the person speaking or being interviewed is not identified by name.
The practice world over on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc is to put the name of the person on the screen.
People may be interested in the item and as such need to know the person being interviewed or speaking.