The Independent Broadcasting Authority has launched a Code of Ethics for Media practitioners in Zambia.
The Code of Ethics aims at promoting professionalism in the media, and has an overriding effect on all house styles of media institutions in Zambia.
However, the IBA code of ethics is basically a consolidation of journalists’ principle guidelines as outlined in the Media Ethics Council of Zambia -MECOZ- a mother body for all media institutions in Zambia.
It has just given effect to the already existing media ethics formulated by journalists themselves.
All Media Houses in Zambia are therefore expected to follow the Code of Ethics by the IBA which is the overseer of activities of media players in Zambia.
Among the issues of compliance are; respect for the human dignity, rights and freedoms of citizens or people, and tolerance to divergent views and beliefs.
The Code requires Media practitioners to exercise unbiased and independent news broadcast, and current affairs programmes clearly distinguished from news.
It further requires that observance of the principle of right to reply, and adherence to correcting factual errors and redressing unfairness.
The Code also compels media houses to protect the integrity of children, and classification of content, and further calls for clear separation of advertisement from other programme output.
In addition to the IBA Act, the Code of ethics re-empowers members of the public to lodge complaints against erring media houses to the Authority.
The Code of Ethics was launched in Lusaka on Wednesday, with Government urging media institutions to implement it and pursue objectivity and professionalism.
Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Joseph Katema who officiated at the launch says responsibility must come first in the work of the media.
Media houses have been further advised to avoid publishing anything that could injure others.
And the IBA has urged Media Houses in the country to domesticate the new code that has been introduced.
Director General Josephine Mapoma says although Media houses may have different House Styles, they are expected to give effect to IBA code of ethics in order to promote professionalism in the media industry in Zambia.
The IBA was established through an Act of Parliament No. 17 0f 2002, but was amended through Act No. 26 of 2010. It became operational in July last year.
And Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Bert Mushala says Zambia has seventy three radio stations and twelve television stations dotted around the country.
Since July last year, government has issued ten radio construction licenses and six radio test licenses.
One Television license has been issued, while twelve full broadcasting licenses have also been granted.