Chief Government spokesperson, Mwansa Kapeya, has called upon media bodies such as
the Press Association of Zambia (PAZ), Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA) Zambia, including the Zambian Media Council (ZAMEC), to intensify their
promotion of ethical and professional conduct in the media fraternity.
Mr Kapeya who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services said this in a press statement was issued to various media houses yesterday.
Mr Kapeya was reacting to concerns raised by the general public over pictures of scantily dressed nightclub patrons, which have become a common feature in most weekend editions of some sections of the print media.
“Publishing pictures of scantily-dressed women, as witnessed in the Sunday edition of one of the tabloids is in bad taste, given that Sunday is a day of worship and it is also a family day when most people read newspapers as families,” he said.
He challenged media houses to exercise high ethical and professional standards by preserving the norms and values of society in their reporting.
Mr Kapeya added that organisations advocating for women’s rights to discourage indecent exposure of women that patronise bars.
He said publishing nude pictures was not only corrosive morally, especially to the young generation, but also a recipe for social vices such as sexual abuse, defilement and rape which were detrimental to the well-being of society.
He also appealed to patrons, both men and women, to exercise decency and modesty in their dress as they enjoyed themselves in nightclubs in conformity with the customs and traditions of the nation.
“Media practitioners should be reminded that Press freedom is not a blank cheque for them to do as they wish without due regard for the social and moral sensitivities of society”.
“As a matter of fact, media freedom, like all other freedoms, is not absolute. It is equi-distant to responsibility. The more freedom the media has, the more responsibility it should equally have in exercising that freedom for the good and benefit of society,” the statement read in part.