By SARAH TEMBO
THE Catholic Media Service (CMS) has called for cordial relations between the media and Government to foster national development.
CMS executive director Paul Samasumo said the relationship between the media and Government should not be confrontational as this would stifle the country’s growth.
He was speaking during a Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia gala dinner at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka on Saturday (27/07/2013) evening.
Father Samasumo said MISA Zambia should re-strategise and tackle challenges facing the media in the country and within the southern African region.
“I dream of a day when relationships between the Government and the media will no longer be confrontational and acrimonious, disagreements yes, because disagreements are part and parcel of everyday life, but endless confrontation is a distraction that saps energy.
“We need this energy to be refocused on issues that will advance good governance and developmnt in southern Africa,” he said.
Fr Samasumo appealed to journalists to embrace online opportunities in order to compete favourably with others in the region.
“As media practitioners our challenges mount every day, we have to contend with citizen journalists, social media and the digital age and poorly trained media practitioners competing with young savvy upstarts who are computer geniuses,” he said.
He called on MISA Zambia to continue striving for a conducive and favourable working environment for journalists to operate and ensure relevance and viability of the media industry.
“MISA should continue to speak consistently and not only on World Press Freedom Day cerebrations but you need to talk about some of the unjust and archaic pieces of legislation such as criminal libel,” he said.
Fr Samasumo said as MISA Zambia strives for media pluralism, self-sufficiency and diversity, it should also help in finding lasting solutions to sustain media operations locally and within the region.
He said the issue of sustainability of media houses had ceased being a perennial problem and was now a pandemic.
Fr Samasumo said MISA Zambia should also intervene in the area of specialist reporting by journalists as it was one area that had remained insufficiently covered. (story courtesy Times of Zambia, 29th July, 2013)