Find us on Google+

Friday, 7 August 2009

Ministerial Statement : Violence Against Journalists

Ministerial Statement made to Parliament on 7th August 2007 by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Hon. Rev. Lt. Gen. Ronnie Shikapwasha. MP, on violence against journalists as reported in the media.


  1. From afrol News, 26/7/2005: Information and Broadcasting Minister Mutale Nalumango in a speech today said that "some media institutions" were abusing press freedom "through vicious, unfair criticisms and insulting language, which now seems to be the order of the day." This would be not be accepted, he announced.

    I think the Ministry of Information may need to update their playbook, this line is already moldy.

  2. Ronnie "Too Many Titles" Shikapwasha apparently didn't get through to the Times of Zambia reporter Abel Mboozi with his instructions on journalistic ethics and balanced reporting. Abel's article from 10 August 2009 reads like a political press release, he doesn't even pretend to have contacted the accused for comment. If this is the standard we can expect from the State Media in the wake of the Minister's Presentation to Parliament, then obviously it had no effect. This whole economic infrastructure development process all the parties keep telling the Diaspora is so crucial would be much easier if this sort of nonsense would stop. I don't think that it is unreasonable to expect the party holding all the official positions of power and control over the official media organs of the State to lead the way in this.

    Practice what you Preach.

  3. Just to be clear, Patson Chilemba of the Post has produced an equally unbalanced report on political events. Presumably from 10th August 2009, but the Post still doesn't put dates in their bylines, even in archive, which is particularly annoying as their writers often refer to events as having happened "yesterday" or "last week". Chances are there are still date tags on the digital files from when they were created, so dating the archive might be time consuming, but not impossible or without long term benefit (hard to cite sources without dates).

  4. Update: Today saw both Post and Daily Mail writers producing far more balanced pieces that attempt to describe the positions of all parties involved in the events they are describing. Interesting that both articles appear to have been co-authored, which likely also contributes to balance as well as make it easier to contact stakeholders for statements before print deadlines.

    Daily Mail reporters Kasuba Mulenga and Yande Kapeya have tried to summarize the public statements made concerning violence and threats towards journalists by both government and protest leaders. They give more column space to the government speakers, but that is to be expected.

    In the Post, writers Jane Mwakasungula in Lusaka and Osward Banda in Serenje have collaborated to present a blow-by-blow account of the recent battle of words between VP George Kunda and PF Leader Michael Sata. In their piece, Kunda gets less space than Sata, but the reader is again presented with both views.

    Fair is fair, and these four journalists seem to understand that. I look forward to reading more articles from them in the future.


All contributors should follow the basic principles of a productive dialogue: communicate their perspective, ask, comment, respond,and share information and knowledge, but do all this with a positive approach.

This is a friendly website. However, if you feel compelled to comment 'anonymously', you are strongly encouraged to state your location / adopt a unique nick name so that other commentators/readers do not confuse your comments with other individuals also commenting anonymously.