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The Electoral Commission of Zambia has called on the media to adapt to change and shift its approach from vices that have potential to propel hate speech in society.
Solwezi District Electoral Officer Bornwell Luanga said the media has the duty to counter disinformation, misinformation and mal-information which has been brought about by the emergence of online media and citizen journalism.
He said the media needs to fairly and accurately report electoral campaign activities of all political players in order to help the electorate make informed decisions.
“We need to adapt to change and shift our approach in order to meet the needs of the public and counter falsehood, misinformation and mal-information which are vices that have propelled hate speech in our society,” Eng. Luanga said.
Eng. Luanga said the media should focus on pertinent issues in the various party manifestoes, candidates and political parties as well as election regulations and processes.
Eng. Luanga who is also Solwezi Town Clerk was speaking in Solwezi today when he opened a three day media training workshop organized by the Electoral Commission of Zambia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program Democracy strengthening in Zambia project.
He said the media must be reliable, truthful and trusted when reporting on election activities as it is the only means through which the public get to know about an election and political players.
“For citizens to be well informed during this election, there must be a free media. But whilst the media must be free and able to form independent and diverse views, it must be reliable, truthful and therefore trusted,” Eng. Luanga said.
He urged the media to uphold and champion media ethics as this will help improve media reporting on the country’s electoral process.