Govt reiterates commitment to creating conducive environment for journalists

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—-Government say it will remain committed to creating a safe and conducive environment for journalists and media workers in order for them to effectively contribute to the development and the wellbeing of the country.

And government says this year’s World Press Freedom Day marks a landmark when the media industry in the country has made tremendous progress because of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s commitment to liberalise the media.

Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni said government has freed the media and it is now able to carry out its noble role of informing educating and entertaining the public in a more professional manner.

Mr Sakeni, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said the PF government has accelerated the issuance of radio and television licences since coming into power in September, 2011.

Zambia tomorrow joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World Press Freedom Day under the theme “Safety of Journalists and Media Workers”.

And Mr Sakeni has disclosed that there are now a total of 60 private and community radio stations and ten private television stations on air countrywide, adding that Zambia still remains a visible and active player in media advocacy in the region.

Mr Sakeni also said the development has put Zambia among the top countries on the African continent with the most open and liberalised airwaves.

He further disclosed that government has finally put in place the long awaited Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and that the process of engaging the first ever IBA Director will soon be completed .

Meanwhile, Mr Sakeni has disclosed that the Access to Information Bill will soon be tabled in the next sitting of Parliament.

Mr Sakeni has also said the election of Zambia to the United Nations Committee on Information which is mandated to promote a global information and communication will foster peace and understanding among many nations.