MEDIA heads in both private and public institution have been challenged to address the plight of their workers in order to give the profession decency.
And Information and Broadcasting Minister Chishimba Kambwili has condemned the continued harassing and beating of journalists by political cadres.
Speaking at the commemoration of the International World Press Freedom Day, Mr. Kambwili said it was shocking that most private media houses were paying inhumane salaries.
“Salaries in the media are totally a laughing stock, some of these media houses, in fact those that speak loud against certain individuals, are the worst characters in paying salaries. We know you. The way you write and defame others, put that effort into paying better salaries to your workers,” said Mr. Kamwbili.
He also condemned the beating and harassing of journalists, saying in whatever circumstances, there was absolutely no reason why people should be harassing and beating journalists. Mr Kambwili said Government would not condone any form of abuse inflicted on journalists. He said the media should stop the art of defaming individuals in the manner some private newspapers were doing.
At the same function, World Press Freedom Day organising committee presented a gift in form of a book to the minister that contains what happens in the media.
Speaking earlier organising committee chairperson Enock Ngoma demanded that Access to Information Bill be enacted as quickly as possible.
Mr Ngoma observed that it has been 13 years since the Bill was drafted but nothing seems to have moved. He observed that there was no job security in the media, adding that journalists in some media institutions were employed and fired at will by management.
Mr Ngoma demanded that journalist, like any other employees, should be protected so that they were not victims of what he termed as the hire and fire syndrome.
Meanwhile, United Nations resident coordinator Janet Rogan implored Government to respect their commitment to Press freedom and also reflect among media professionals issues of Press freedom and professional ethics.