ARCHIBISHOP of Lusaka Telesphore Mpundu has implored media practitioners to have moral law and human dignity when executing their duties.
Archbishop Mpundu also urged media practitioners to get facts, sufficient information and public opinion when delivering news to society
“The search for information and news in our society will lead to the deeper knowledge of humanity and also promote the understanding of ethics in the practice of Journalism,” Archbishop Mpundu said.
He was speaking in Lusaka on Friday night when he officiated at the 12th Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) annual media awards gala dinner.
The clergyman said if the power of the media is properly handled, the moral law will work tremendously and contribute positively to the wellbeing of mankind.
And MISA Zambia chairperson Hellen Mwale has called on Government to fully implement the Independence Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Act to support media freedom and independence.
Ms Mwale said MISA is concerned that the legal operating environment of the media is governed by outdated laws found in the constitution and penal code.
“The situation is compounded by inadequate provisions in the constitution to protect and promote media freedom and expression,”Ms Mwale said.
She said the alteration of the IBA and ZNBC Acts in 2010 has compromised the initial intentions to enact the two laws.
Ms Mwale said the other challenge compromising media excellence and its ability to operate independently is the verbal and physical attacks from various stakeholders, especially from political cadres.
“This is a source of concern because it seems political parties lack disciplinary systems to address this behaviour.
“It is unheard of that a violent cadre has lost his or her membership because they beat up a journalist or acted violently towards journalists in Zambia,” she said.
Ms Mwale also urged political leaders to ensure that the constitution-making process comes to a logical conclusion and to ensure that progressive clauses which support media freedom and independence are part of the final constitution that will replace the current non-democratic ones.
At the awards Zambia Daily Mail news editor Newton Sibanda emerged winner in the categories best business and best environmental reporting awards in print media, on line reporter Doreen Nawa won best telecommunications and best energy reporting awards while gender reporter Mwape Mwenya and features reporter Linda Nyondo won the best health reporting and best HIV and AIDS reporting awards, respectively.
ZNBC’s Faith Kandaba scooped the prestigious Press Freedom Award.