From: ZANIS News <[email protected]>
Unionist praises government strides on press freedom
Chinsali, May 3, ZANIS ——–A union Leader in Muchinga Province has commended government for creating an enabling Environment for media to operate freely in the country.
Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) Provincial Coordinator, Nondo Kasanda said the Patriotic Front government has shown commitment towards the establishment and facilitating of a free media.
Mr Kasanda said this in an interview with Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Chinsali today.
Zambia today joins the rest of the world to commemorate World Press Freedom Day which falls on May 3.
This year ‘World Press Freedom Day is being held under the theme “SAFETY OF JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA WORKERS”.
Mr Kasanda said freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights for journalists in the country and the world at large.
He said from the time the PF government came into power, Zambia has seen a change in the way some media houses are operating.
Mr Kasanda said it is good to note that unlike in the past, both the ruling and opposition parties are being given equal coverage by the national broadcaster, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) while other media organisations such as the Post newspapers and many others have also remained committed to giving balanced news to the public.
The ZNUT Provincial Coordinator said that the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill which will soon be tabled before parliament and the establishment of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) offices are some of the signs of commitments exhibited by the PF government that will go a long way in providing freedom to the journalists especially the investigative journalists to write freely.
Mr Kasanda has however implored government to stiffen laws that govern and protect journalists from intimidation and harassment from the general public.
He said politicians in the country should desist from the habit of threatening members of the press.
Mr Kasanda has also urged journalists to be responsible in their reporting and maintain high standards of professionalism when executing their duties.
The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness on the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.