MINISTER of Information and Broadcasting Services Joseph Katema has called on the news media to be innovative and diversify into other income-generating initiatives.
Dr Katema said diversification will help the media generate more income to grow.
The minister said it is difficult for media institutions to stay afloat without diversifying into other initiatives.
“It is very difficult for the media just to specialise in what they do. They must be innovative and diversify into other ventures because if they don’t, they will go down,” he said.
Dr Katema said this after touring the Post Newspapers in Lusaka yesterday.
He said government does not want to regulate the media but reporters have the responsibility to report on issues that will build the nation.
“Government has no intentions whatsoever to stifle the growth of the media,” he said.
Dr Katema said Government will continue to create an enabling environment in which media practitioners can freely but responsibly carry out their duties.
“Government pledges its continued support towards democratic governance and the role of the media in ensuring transparency in issues related to governance at all levels,” he said
Dr Katema said Government is aware of the many challenges that the media faces and is committed to ensuring that journalists are protected as they carry out their duty.
“Government is fully aware that most emerging challenges today for our journalists in the country are physical attacks, unprofessionalism, partisan editorial policies and inadequate training and curriculum to address the new opportunities in the 21st century,” Dr Katema said.
He called on the media to resist political pressure and maintain media ethics.
“It is saddening to note that some media institutions have gone ahead to abuse the power of the pen to attack defenceless citizens without any reasonable cause. This is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue,” Dr Katema said.
He said Government has allowed the operation of many media institutions to allow the public make informed decisions.
Dr Katema said unprofessional media houses will in the long run fall as society will reject them.
Post Newspapers general manager Sheikh Chifuwe said the newspaper company has employed over 1,000 people and will continue to create jobs.
Mr Chifuwe said the company has also diversified its income generation initiatives.
“We celebrated our 23rd anniversary this month and we will continue to contribute to the growth of the economy,” he said.
Zambia Daily Mail