Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has expressed anger and frustrations that the PF media are failing to counter the provision of breaking news by Online publications.
Amos Malupenga has challenged the PF media such as the Daily PF, Times of PF, and others to update their websites daily to avoid creating a vacuum which the social media are filling with lies and half truths.
In a statement released to the media by Chansa Kabwela, the First Secretary for press at the Zambian Embassy in Malawi, Malupenga said the traditional media houses have a duty to timely provide their audiences with news and information.
Mr. Malupenga made the remarks when he and his delegation paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s High Commissioner to Malawi His Excellency Billy Munyumbwe on Tuesday.
The team is in Malawi to attend a meeting with the Copyright Association of Malawi and senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture today (Wednesday).
Mr. Malupenga said the provision of information timely is even more critical for Zambians living abroad who are thirsty for news and information about their country.
He said he had observed with sadness each time he travels out of Zambia that it is always a nightmare to access latest news and information from traditional media outlets’ websites such as the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and sometimes The Post.
“I know how you are feeling especially you colleagues in the Foreign Service because I have experienced it before. It’s actually not only frustrating but it is also annoying. When people are thirsty for water and all they can see is dirty water, they will be forced to drink that dirty water. This is what is happening with some of these websites whose names are not worth mentioning. People are looking for credible news and information but when they visit the websites with such news all they find is stale news and information. In frustration they end up visiting those websites carrying dirty water. I have brought this to the attention of media heads but I have also observed that their reaction has been slow,” Mr. Malupenga said.
Malupenga said Government was keen to promote professional journalism in Zambia.
He urged Zambians in the diaspora to ignore the websites that are in the habit of peddling lies and maligning people because their agenda is against those in government.
“Freedom of expression does not entitle people to defame others. But we in the government will not pay attention to such websites because we will be giving them unnecessary credibility. We are comforted by the fact that genuine Zambians know the difference between constructive criticism and malicious propaganda,” Mr. Malupenga said.