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Minister Mweetwa Urges ZANIS to Enhance Information Dissemination

The Minister of Information and Media and Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa, MP, embarked on a familiarization tour of the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) Headquarters in Lusaka, where he addressed critical issues concerning information dissemination and media professionalism.

During the tour, Minister Mweetwa underscored the need for ZANIS to elevate its efforts in bridging the information gap between the government and citizens. He emphasized the importance of effectively publicizing government projects and programs to ensure citizens are well-informed.

Acknowledging the influence of social media, Minister Mweetwa emphasized that traditional news packages alone are insufficient in addressing the current information gap.

He urged ZANIS to develop informative programs to complement news packages and counter misinformation prevalent on social media platforms.

Highlighting the detrimental effects of misinformation, Minister Mweetwa cautioned against the dissemination of unreliable information on social media, which often leads to tension and uncertainty among citizens. He urged ZANIS to promptly disseminate accurate and factual information to counteract social media speculation.

The Minister also addressed concerns regarding propaganda and out-of-context stories in the media landscape, stressing the importance of ethical journalism and professionalism.

President Hakainde Hichilema’s vision for national development, particularly the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), was highlighted as a flagship project.

Minister Mweetwa emphasized the importance of informing citizens about the CDF and assured ZANIS of government support in addressing operational challenges, including transport and equipment provision.

Furthermore, Minister Mweetwa outlined the imminent challenges posed by the current drought situation, emphasizing the need for ZANIS to prepare citizens for its resultant effects, such as increased commodity prices, water shortages, and maize deficits.

Regarding media professionalism, Minister Mweetwa urged ZANIS to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to accredit only bona fide journalists, promoting professionalism and integrity within the media industry.

He also pledged government engagement with media owners and stakeholders to address the observed deterioration in ethics and professionalism.

In response, ZANIS Director Ms. Loyce Saili requested government support in digitizing ZANIS archives to preserve vital information and lamented the lack of equipment hindering effective operations.

Excitingly, ZANIS is set to launch live news programs and events following the procurement of new equipment by the Ministry, signaling a significant advancement in information dissemination capabilities.

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