NGOCC urges journalists to ignore PF ill plans

Journalists in Zambia have been urged to ignore the PF’s ill media plans but remain focused in their work amidst safety challenges that they face in providing daily news to the general public under the PF regime.
Non Governmental Organizations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Publicity Board Secretary Precious Moonze noted that journalists risk their safety, jobs and lives in their quest to bring out issues that affect society.
Ms. Moonze said this in Lusaka today at a media forum ahead of the world Press Freedom Day which falls on 3rd May every year.The global theme for 2013 is “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media” which focuses on safety of journalists, the issue of impunity, and online safety. There is also a special focus on the implementation of UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.
She said the world Press Freedom Day was a reminder of daring death and sacrifices that many journalists face to bring daily news to the general public, which  the PF regime had continued to neglect.
She reiterated that the media was a powerful tool that plays an important role in shaping and influencing society’s perception of various issues such as gender equity and equality.
Ms. Moonze has since called on government to seriously take the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill and the implementation of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) in order to create and strengthen the self regulatory mechanism of the media. The PF when in opposition vigorously campaigned for the enactment of this piece of legislation but its sudden u-turn close to two years of being in office has shocked media activists.
She however appealed to the media to not only cover women issues but cover issues that promote the dignity of the women as mothers of the country.
And Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA) Executive Director Felistus Chipako
commended the media for partnering with women movements in advocating for the rights of female journalists and other women in the country.
Ms. Chipako said the media has played a critical role in highlighting issues that affect women but noted that much more needs to be done.
Meanwhile, Operation Young Vote (OYV) Executive Director Guess Nyirenda in (apparent reference to Post newspapers’ widely condemned Friday edition) pointed out that it was immoral for some sections of the media to continue publishing nude pictures of women despite several appeals from women organizations to stop the vice.
Mr. Nyirenda said women deserve protection against bad portrayal in the adverts and other forms of the media such as the Post. the paper has been publishing nude pictures aimed at underscoring women in its Friday edition of the Weeken Post despite condemnation from people and th church. Editor Fred Mmembe’s apettite for nude pictures has been unstoppable.
Nyirenda noted that the country can only develop if men and women work together as equal partners.
The media forum was organized by ZAMWA in conjunction with NGOCC ahead of the world Press Freedom Day celebrations.

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