The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) is pleased to join the media practitioners in commemorating the 2022 World Press Freedom Day. This day is special to us because the press has been fundamental in ZANEC’s advocacy work of promoting quality Education for All in our country. As ZANEC we believe that the press is key in fostering national development because it is responsible for educating and informing the general public. We also want to take this opportunity to appreciate the media for effectively reporting on education matters even amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. It is for this reason that ZANEC has been holding the Education Media Awards since 2015 and will continue to do so in order to encourage and promote reporting on education related issues as well as to motivate our key allies, the journalists.
The theme for this year’s World Press Freedom day is “Journalism under Digital Siege” This theme is timely as the use of digital platforms is now the most effective and modern way of communicating and disseminating information. However, it is unfortunate that a few of our online media platforms do not conform to journalism ethics and sometimes disseminate false information that is detrimental to press freedoms and also journalism as a whole. It is for this reason that we support the need to finalise legislation designed to empower the media to self-regulate as they are better placed to tame the few that try to tarnish the image of this important profession. Therefore, we need to be deliberate as a nation in protecting the integrity of the media even amidst the inevitability of digitalisation.
Despite the many challenges the media is facing in this era, we wish to add our voice in wishing the media a happy and successful commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day even as we continue lobbying government for the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill hopefully before the end of this year.
I thank you all.