Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Kennedy Sakeni has said government remains committed to having a free, ethical and socially responsible media in the country.
Mr. Sakeni said government has since put in place measures such as liberating the public media from political control in order to promote professionalism in the media.
He said since the Patriotic Front (PF) assumed office, opposition political parties and several government stakeholders have had a fair share of coverage in the public media.
He was speaking in Lusaka today at the national stakeholders’ conference for the 2013 World Press Freedom day commemoration which falls tomorrow, the 3rd of May under the theme “Safety of Journalists, Impunity and Safety of Line.”
Mr. Sakeni also bemoaned the harassment of journalists saying government was working tirelessly to create a conducive environment for the media.
He stressed that government will soon table the access to information bill in parliament.
He has since urged media practitioners in the country to be truthful in their reporting because it was only through the truth that they will be able to secure their freedom and protection.
And World Press Freedom Day Organising Committee Chairperson Patson Phiri called on government to audit media houses to know salaries which media practitioners were getting.
Mr. Phiri, who is also Press Association of Zambia (PAZA) Executive Secretary, said journalists were getting meagre salaries hence the need for government to provide incentives for them.
He said once journalists are paid well their organisations, news will not be easily manipulated.
And Mr. Phiri has noted that journalists were facing a lot of harassment in carrying out their duties and has since urged stakeholders to respect the rights of journalists.
Meanwhile, Media Liaison Committee chairperson, Mickie Mumba, has said the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) will soon be operational.
Mr. Mumba said the ZAMEC constitution has been formulated with 11 national governing council members from various sectors to spearhead the council.
He disclosed that Dr. Manneseh Phiri will chair the council and deputised by the Non Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council’s (NGOCC) Ngwase Mwale.