|Some of the journalists who attended the training|
By Paul Shalala
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia Chapter says the increase in people accessing the internet has come with new problems.
The regional body says the increase in internet usage in the country has led to some people posting unverified news which has put the journalism fraternity in an awkward position.
MISA Zambia Information and Research Officer Kamufisa Manchishi says there is need for journalists to be professional and objective to help bring sanity to online publications.
Speaking during a recent provincial media workshop on New Media and Information and Communications Technology in Kitwe, Mr Manchishi said there was need for journalists to be on top of the game.
“Journalists must be seen to be more professional than people who just post stuff online without verifying. Our job is to provide credible news and information on the internet, not spreading rumours,” he said.
He said this in the wake of recent cases were unverified news of fake deaths of prominent people were circulating online.
To try and equip Copperbelt-based journalists with latest skills in new media and ICTs, MISA Zambia and Airtel Zambia organized a two day workshop where over 30 practicing journalists and some trainees were trained in new media skills.
|Yuyo Nachali-Kambikambi addressing the trainees|
Airtel Zambia Manager for Corporate communications Yuyo Nachali-Kambikambi said journalists needed to be up to date with the latest trends in the industry.
“Journalists of nowadays need to be quick in delivering news. They also need to be equipped with the latest skills which the internet has brought. This is why Airtel Zambia has partnered with MISA Zambia to ensure that we give you the latest skills in ICTs,” said Ms Nachali-Kambikambi, herself a former journalist.
And Northern Region Media Club Chairperson Misheck Wangwe said the need for new media skills on the Copperbelt was an urgent matter for journalists.
“We are operating in an era where everyone who has access to the internet is now a journalist. It is a difficult time. But the duty is on us professional journalists to bring sanity to the internet,” said Mr Wangwe.
Journalism lecturers Elastus Mambwe and Youngson Ndawana from the University of Zambia ‘s Mass Communication Department tutored the journalists in various courses over the two day period.
Some of the courses tackled were writing for the internet, media ethics, blogging and how to research on the World Wide Web.
With over six million Zambians having access to mobile phones, pressure is now mounting on journalists and media organisations to satisfy the thirst for news on the internet.
This is due to the fact that the number of citizen journalists is increasing and the spread of fake news on the internet is increasing at an alarming rate.