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Journalists must have integrity – MISA

By NOEL IYOMBWA
JOURNALISTS must uphold their integrity when executing their duties, says the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA).

In an interview, MISA Zambia chairperson Hellen Mwale said journalists should be able to identify themselves and the media they represent so that the source is certain of the person.
“We need to uphold our integrity and need to tell the sources the media houses we are coming from, because if indeed we are coming from a media institution, there is no need to hide.
She said that there is no need for journalists to hide their identity or the media house they are coming from when attending functions or assignments. Ms. Mwale said that is why it is important to have media self-regulation so as to know who is a genuine journalist.
And University of Zambia Media and Communications lecturer Dr Sam Phiri has called on trained journalists and other stakeholders such as organisers of events to come out in the open and condemn unethical behaviour by some journalists. Dr Phiri said unlike some years back when there was sanity in the media industry, things have changed with a lot of unethical behaviour by professional journalists and some individuals purporting to be journalists.
He said the trend by “journalists” who do not represent any media house but go round in functions can only be stopped by journalists and organisers of events.
“It’s on both sides, companies should be blamed for paying journalists who cover functions. So-called professional journalists are to be blamed they have allowed this to continue. Companies should condone it, we buy newspapers so that employees can be paid we cannot pay someone who is paid to write the news.

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