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 Article
 Bad Journalism A short article commentary on the press circus in Zambia
Reading newspaper articles on current issues gripping Zambia, one wonders what a cheap government mouthpiece not only the "Times of Zambia" but also "Zambia Daily Mail" & "ZNBC" have degenerated into.

So much has been speculated about over the pact between PF & UPND. Whereas it is not taboo to mention tribe as a problem (wherever that may apply), we feel it is dangerous to play carelessly around with such potentially explosive concepts, in papers owned by GRZ. One would ask oneself why the two political parties in question entered into a pact / partnership in the first place, if there were indeed any tribalism (or "tribalistic motivations") at play(!). To our observation, they've so far seemed to be in tune on most major issues. We are inclined to think the pact problems between PF & UPND have more to do with antagonistic personal (and not necessarily 'tribal') ambitions of the two leaders in question (Sata & Hichilema) than with specific matters of tribe.

Our observation is that all these government-owned media outlets ("Times of Zambia", "Zambia Daily Mail" & the "ZNBC") have suddenly adopted this really cheap journalism of bootlicking and choosing to address non-issues, in their misguided "age of pluralistic politics"; even though pressing issues that interest Zambians or are for the betterment of Zambia keep repeatedly being given the boot or simply get shoved aside, as if to distract Zambians.

Why don't the able editors of these mouthpieces do a better job by coming up with at least one convincing analysis or a learned explanation of why FJT Chiluba was acquitted last year on damning corruption charges, why his acquittal was not appealed against by the DPP and why, yet again, Chiluba's London judgement that nailed him against the wall in 2007 has now been quashed in Lusaka, Zambia, by an organ of GRZ? It is not insulting to assume the journalists responsible for promulgating such news are merely doing their job to feed their stomach; or what else must we say of a paper owned by the government, controlled by the government or whose lieutenants themselves seem to be owned  by the government, being nothing other than presidential or partisan appointees?

(The equation here of course being, as ever, Government = Party in power = MMD!).

It's rather frightening how all the government's news mouthpieces in Zambia today disregard real journalistic freedoms and lack integrity by choosing to simply badmouth the whole opposition, avoid real issues of interest, shut up the voice of reasonable Zambians, give empty credit to the bad ones, and actually address no real issues.

The kind of news titles found splattered over their pages tell it all. We dug out a few examples:

1. "Poll proves Pact's not viable, says Ronnie"
2. "Nchito's engagement by Taskforce was irregular AG"
3. "Respect Judiciary, urges ex-aide"
4. "FJT UK case dismissal within law Nkonde"
5. "No appeal in FJT case"

This is supposed to be the same "Times of Zambia" that, barely a year ago, featured articles such as (on 22-06-2009) bearing titles like "Convict Chiluba - State", in which it wrote:

"The State has submitted that the court should convict former Second Republican president, Frederick Chiluba, and his two co-accused persons, former directors of Access Financial Services (AFS) Faustin Kabwe and Aaron Chungu, on all the 12 counts they are each charged with. The State submitted that the evidence before the court proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused persons committed the offences under each count in respect of which they stand charged."
Category Journalism Author Zambia Online Network
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Added On Sat Aug 21st,2010 
 
 
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