MISA Zambia, Swedish and US envoys praise online media

Media Institute for Southern Africa (Zambia) chapter has declared that online media has come on the scene to stay and any attempt to suffocate it is a futile exercise.

MISA Zambia chairperson Hellen Mwale made this remark during the opening of a MISA seminar for over 22 online journalists and bloggers held at Intercontinental hotel on Tuesday.

Ms. Mwale said online media has continued to bridge the gap and is being used as a tool for political and social campaign. She encouraged the journalists to remain steadfast and ethical in their execution of duties.

And Embassy of Sweden Second Secretary (political and economic) Emil Liden said his country has continued to guarantee and promote freedom of expression. He pointed out that Sweden had the oldest freedom of expression law and boasted of a good democracy. He said that in his country, same laws that apply for traditional media apply to online media. Recently Sweden hosted the internet conference where hundreds of online journalists converged to share experiences.

Meanwhile Chief of political and Economic section at the American embassy Timothy Smith said freedom of expression was a basic human right that should be enjoyed by all individuals, more so by journalists. He said that it was inconceivable to guarantee people freedom of assembly while depriving them of their freedom to express themselves.

Both Mr. Liden and Mr. Smith were invited to give a presentation at the seminar organised by MISA Zambia in response to the growing attacks on online media and other traditional media outlets under the dictatorial regime of the PF government.

On World press Freedom day, acting information minister Fackson Shamenda said some online media outlets (in apparent reference to the Zambian Watchdog) were criminals and threatened to smoke them out.

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