Don’t Under Pay Journalists, Shimunza Tells Media Owners

STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

3/09/2017

THE UNHEARD CRY OF OUR JOURNALISTS IN ZAMBIA

The plight of our JOURNALIST’S in Zambia is sad. These men and women are pillars of our

democracy. They speak, write and air news both in the print and electronic media about our country, and other various subjects too numerous to mention,  yet their plight is ignored.

Many of these Journalists seek to be professional, but most that I have talked to complain that media houses owners who may not even be media practitioners, as business owners, dictate what must be printed,  aired or disseminated, sometimes against their media ethics, will or professionalism.

We need to look after our journalists and pay them well for the work they do. They must not be subjected to walking, begging,  and poor conditions of service as they do their work. They have become the voiceless in our nation, while being a voice for everyone else. Who will speak for them, when they speak for all of us without appreciation?

As the Movement for National Transformation (MNT),  we have a media policy to make our media both public and private upgraded to first world best practices, in order to foster freedoms of expression, speech, exchange of information and ideas.

Media abuse must not be equated to freedom of expression or speech. Insulting one another is not part of our  traditional values, culture, or being a sign of modernity. Media ethics and morals, must be upheld. Where one’s freedoms end,  another’s begin in a society. We must not infringe upon the rights of others.

Abusing social media must be curbed by developing a knowledge society, that exchanges ideas, and constructively criticise others. Positive criticism is welcome, but insults are not. Our character must be morally and socially user friendly to fellow citizens. Argue your case without demeaning others. Before you criticise, first make your unique contribution yourself. Do not criticise at the level where you have never attained yourself,  let those at that level do it.

Politics in Zambia in the last 40 years has been called a “dirty game” because of insults. It is, no wonder many shun to freely participate in our politics, if they have no thick skin or stamina. We have become a nation of enemies. Political players do confrontational politics, not consensual politics. The nation is now divided along party Lines of ” them and us”. The Journalists report from both sides biased or not, they are scribes and broadcasters of both our past, present and future.

Our Journalists make presidents and dethrone them. They educate and entertain us,yet they knock off without transport and other needs to make earns meet. Who fights for them? I took time to think this week after so many interviews on both radio and television. I will say they need you and I!

We appeal to media bodies in Zambia,  to look into maintaining media professional standards to keep our journalists and their noble career with global practices. Let the plight of journalism and journalists be safeguarded.

We appeal to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to ensure that the plight of both public and private media practitioners is regarded.

Zambia 53 years  after independence must set a new trend of care and professional media  services,  upkeep, and ethics  for our Journalists. Their cry must be heard as they serve various media houses daily without what they need as much as required.

 

We finally appeal to all media houses to incentivise  our journalists and help them to do their work professionally and effectively.  Let us hear the cry of our media practitioners as a nation, their voices must be heard. Take time to  appreciate, someone in media today and this week.

 

God bless you richly and God bless our Republic of Zambia.

 

By : Daniel Mvula Shimunza, Founding President, of MNT.