No free media, no democracy, says envoy

Zambian journalists

Zambian journalists

Norwegian ambassador to Zambia Tore Gjos says democratic rule is not possible without a free and independent press.

Ambassador Gjos says a free media can be a catalyst for many political reforms.
Speaking Thursday evening during the launch of the united nations-Lusaka press club partnership at pamodzi hotel, Mr Gjos says the media plays a key role through monitoring authorities, spreading alternative information and providing a platform where people can express their views.
He adds that the media is also suppose to be a platform where the electorate can meet politicians between elections.
Ambassador Gjos says without such interaction, it becomes very difficult for elected leaders to make decisions that are in line with the public opinion, and that represents the views of the majority of the population.
And speaking at the same function, UN resident coordinator Macleod nyirongo says the United Nations remains committed to developing the capacity of the media by strengthening professional journalism to ensure that the enabling environment exists for more analytical, objective and accurate news reportage.
Mr Nyirongo says by so doing, not only development journalism in zambia will be enhanced, but also deeper commitment by the various development actors to transparency and accountability will be fostered.
And officiating at the same function, information and broadcasting services deputy minister Elijah Muchima said government has no intention of muzzling the media in anyway because that would be a negation of democratic principles.
Mr Muchima however prods the media to be responsible in their reporting.
He says it important for the media to be accurate, impartial, balanced and fair in coverage regardless of whether sections of the media agree or disagree with government policy.

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