Stop fake news, Father Chilinda advises media

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 12:29:23 +0000


THE media should endeavor to be professional and objective in their reporting so that people have a chance to know the truth about what was really happening around them, St Ignatius Parish priest Father Charles Chilinda has advised.

In an interview with the Daily Nation, Fr Chilinda noted that some media houses had been biased in their reporting and that they had been denying people a chance to learn about what was really happening in their communities.

He said that most media houses in Zambia were fond of giving the public one-sided information, only that the journalists preferred.

Supporting remarks this week by Pope Francis that the world press thrived on reporting untruths, scandals and conflict, Fr Chilinda reminded the media fraternity that their main duty was to give the public objective and accurate information.

He reiterated that the media played an important role of educating and informing the nation but that it was a disaster if they did not do so fairly, objectively and accurately.

Fr Chilinda pointed out that most media houses and personnel in Zambia were still struggling with regards to observing and respecting media ethics.

“We still have a challenge in Zambia in terms of how the media operate. It has not been easy for them to strictly observe media ethics. They still seem to be reporting one-sidedly, according to their preferences. But the media have a duty to serve the public with objectivity and accurate information,” he said.

Fr Chilinda said most journalists were favoring sources they were friendlier with or those who paid for their services.

He noted that it was unlikely for journalists to reveal negative information against sources they were close to and that they only reported the good things about them.

Meanwhile, Fr Chilinda also advised editors from different media houses to support reporters in ensuring that they maintained objectivity and accuracy in their reporting.

He disclosed that there had been several instances where editors had been accused of tampering with stories to suit the media house style.

Fr Chilinda explained that some editors were forced to change the meaning of some stories if they seemed to be against their loyalists.

“You find that a reporter has written the story in a truthful way  but come following day the meaning is totally different; if you ask the reporter he says that it’s not what he or she wrote,” he noted.

He said the media fraternity should endeavor to be truthful, fair and objective in their line of work.


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