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Kampamba Mulenga graces WPFD-Livingstone Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017

Kampamba Mulenga graces WPFD-Livingstone Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017

August 15
16:40 2017

Speech by Hon. Kampamba Mulenga, MP, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson

 Speech by Hon. Kampamba Mulenga, MP, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson during the commemoration of WPFD Wednesday, 3rd May, 2017, Livingstone, Southern Province  

  • MR GODFREY MALAMA, PERMANENT SECRETARY – MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING SERVICES
  • THE ACTING LIVINGSTONE DISTRICT COMMISSIONER
  • HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LIVINGSTONE AND OTHER CIVIC LEADERS PRESENT
  • UNDP COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE
  • UNESCO REPRESENTATIVE
  • MR ENOCK NGOMA – CHARPERSON OF THE WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY NATIONAL ORGANISING COMMITTEE
  • THE LIVINGSTONE PRESS CLUB PRESIDENT
  • HEADS OF MEDIA HOUSES PRESENT
  • FODEP LIVINGSTONE DISTRICT CHAIRPERSON AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS PRESENT
  • MEMBERS OF THE LIVINGTONE PRESS CLUB AND THE MEDIA FRATERNITY AT LARGE
  • DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

It gives me immense pleasure to officiate at the commemoration of this year’s World Press Freedom Day here in Livingstone.

I thank you all for turning out in large numbers to take part in the commemoration of this important day.

This is testimony of the importance you all attach to this Day as a key platform for advancing press freedom and professionalism.

I also congratulate the Livingstone Press Club on the wonderful and colourful organisation of the World Press Freedom Day commemoration here in Livingstone.

As Government, we are proud of the Livingstone Press Club for being among the few alive and active press clubs in the country.

In this regard, I note with appreciation, that the club has been very active in grooming future journalists through promotion of media skills as well as a culture of reading and writing among pupils in schools here in Livingstone.

This is commendable and consistent with Government’s agenda to grow a skilled, ethical and professional media that contributes meaningfully to national development.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year’s theme, Critical Minds for Critical Times – Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive  societies  sits well with Government’s agenda to cultivate a transformational culture for a Smart Zambia.

The theme resonates with the need for each one of us, as citizens, to be adaptive, innovative, inclusive and above all patriotic, in building a Zambia we want for ourselves, our children and generations to come.

Father Leonard Chiti with Pope Francis

To achieve this, the media is urged to aspire for the highest level of ethical and professional standards in its  role of informing, educating and entertaining the public.

The media’s loyalty should be to the truth and to the people of Zambia and not to individuals and their narrow personal interests.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

For its part, Government, under the leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, believes in plurality and diversity of voices in which all citizens have an equal say and stake in the governance and development of the country.

Which is why I take this opportunity to re-iterate Government’s unwavering commitment to creating a conducive environment for the media to flourish. And results are there for all to see: Through the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), Government has accelerated the issuance of radio and television licences resulting in 110 radio stations and over 40 television stations now on air countrywide.

This ranks Zambia’s broadcasting sector as one of the most liberalised on the African continent and beyond.

And in its continuous efforts to take information closer to the people, Government has embarked on the construction of provincial broadcasting studios  in all the 10 Provinces of the country. Works on the studios in Central, Southern and North-Western province are currently underway.

The process to migrate from analogue to digital television is also progressing well at a cost 273 million Dollars. The project is now in the second and third phase which, when completed, will result in 100 per cent television coverage of the country.

Through my Ministry, Government is also formulating the National Information and Media policy to guide the continued growth of the country’s media industry.

I am also happy to announce that arrangements are underway for my Ministry to convene a national media  indaba soon. The indaba will bring together a wide spectrum of media practitioners and other stakeholders to discuss the state of the Zambian media and measures that should be taken to move  the media industry to higher heights.

These and other measures, Ladies and Gentlemen,  represent Government’s desire and determination to enhance the free flow and public access to information, a pre-requisite for achieving sustainable social and economic development.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is disappointing, however, to note  that some online media outlets, especially,  have elected to abuse the conducive media environment Government has created by pursuing private agendas.

The high levels of unethical and unprofessional conduct, including hate speech,  which  we are seeing on some online media platforms, border on utter criminality  under the pretext of press freedom.

This is unprofessional and unacceptable from which all media practitioners worth the profession should desist.

Otherwise, as Government, we recognize the fact that if well used, online publishing, otherwise also known as “citizen journalism,” can be useful enablers of public access to information.

It is, therefore, Government’s expectation that using platforms such as the World Press Freedom Day, the media can review and renew its commitment to upholding its ethical and professional obligations to society.

Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,  Once again, congratulations to the media fraternity on the successful commemoration of this year’s World Press Freedom Day. Rest assured that Government, under the leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, remains unshakable in defence and promotion of media freedom – a fundamental pre-requisite for deepening our democracy and development. Thank you and God bless.

 

 

 

 

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