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Chipata youth calls for stronger media protections amid concerns over media independence (video)


Alepha Banda, a programmes officer at the Youth Development Foundation (YDF), says Zambia’s existing laws do not adequately safeguard journalists, thereby impeding media freedoms and their ability to report objectively.

Banda also argued that journalists’ lack of economic stability makes them susceptible to manipulation.

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In an interview with Zambia Monitor in the Eastern Province, Banda stated the need for the government to develop policies aimed at protecting private media entities and journalists.

Read More: Aspiring journalist offers insights on media freedom and information access in Zambia (video)

“The government should formulate a policy that will protect the private media and journalists,” he said.

Moreover, Banda pointed out that although individuals theoretically possess the freedom to express themselves, this liberty was frequently curtailed by factors such as fear and threats emanating from certain members of the political class.

“Individuals in positions of power have a tendency to interfere with the media, as evidenced by numerous incidents where media outlets have been stormed by individuals affiliated with certain political factions,” he said.

Nevertheless, he noted that there had been instances where the government respected media freedoms.

“At least we have seen some tolerance in some instances, where the government has not taken action that hinders media freedom,” he stated.

Additionally, Banda mentioned that the marginalised were often overlooked both in new media platforms and traditional mainstream media outlets.

“The marginalised are often neglected across television, radio, and newspapers,” he said.

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