INFORMATION and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Mwamba has pledged to ensure the public media institutions in the country are recapitalised.
Mr Mwamba prodded media heads at TIMES OF ZAMBIA, ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) to collaborate with him.
Media heads, he said, should submit names of institutions with outstanding debts so that the debts could be collected and funds utilised to enhance operations.
The permanent secretary was speaking when he featured on a live Muvi Television, The Assignment programme on Sunday.
He said his priority, among others, was to uplift the welfare of public media institutions.
“Being a media practitioner myself, I understand problems our public media institutions are currently facing. They are crippled with huge debt. I want to make sure they are recapitalised and modernised to operate at a desirable standard,” he said.
Mr Mwamba would directly engage the Ministry of Finance to help with funding on recapitalisation of the public media institutions to enable them expand their operations and be accessed globally.
“This is one of the first issues I will fight for because I want to put these institutions to be accessed by people globally. Look at BBC, it is well-updated and this is my focus also,” he said.
Mr Mwamba said the media institutions were fundamental in highlighting and educating people on various Government development projects.
Besides developmental projects, he said, other significant issues the media could highlight were the fight against cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS and Government’s continued quest to create more jobs.
He also pledged to provide wise leadership that President Sata had entrusted him with and newly-appointed Minister Mwansa Kapeya to champion professionalism and objective reporting in all media houses.
Mr Mwamba assured that he would use his new role at the ministry to fight for development but that journalists should also assist by reporting accurately and objectively.
He said journalists should uphold their ethnics, saying inappropriate reporting triggered misunderstandings among people, especially that public media institutions used taxpayers’ monies.
On the Access to Information (ATI) Bill, he said, the bill could be tabled during the forthcoming parliamentary session.
He cautioned journalists that the growing tendency of some ministers always wanting preferred reporters to cover them should cease as it was compromising their work and professionalism.
“I think issues of reporters being favourable to some ministers should cease because every reporter employed by TIMES or ZNBC can report.
“Where ever they go, they represent their institutions,” he said.