President Edgar Lungu has expressed concern over reckless misinformation on social media platforms being spread by ‘demagogues’ saying it is being done with the intetion to turn people against him and his administration.
He urged PF members to rise up to the challenge in defence of truth and what is is good for the sake of peace, stability and inclusive economic recovery and growth.
Speaking when he opened the Patriotic Front provincial conference in Mongu yesterday, the President expressed concern over the infux of fake news being spread to sway the minds of innocent citizens, saying this is meant to incite them to rise against the government.
” It is therefore important, that as citizens we verify information before it is taken as gospel truth. Social media has brought many good things including cheap and faster information but its abuse is equally destructive, ” added the President.
Lungu said Zambia is bigger than any individual.
“Zambia is bigger than anyone of us. Zambia is our common heritage, therefore let us unite and apply ourselves fully to achieve shared national prosperity without leaving anyone behind,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, Information Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has reiterated the need for the media to disseminate information that is accurate and unbiased.
Malupenga says the media fraternity is key to national development and that people across the country depend on the media to keep them informed about various national issues.
He said the media therefore is expected to present stories right to the highest professional standards.
The Permanent Secretary was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he officiated at the media mentorship class organized by Uplift Media under the theme “Addressing Misinformation Hands-on”.
Malupenga noted that misinformation is one of the serious challenges that media professionals must help to cure by distinguishing themselves from those masquerading to be part of the profession.
He said the theme is timely as the whole world grapples with the challenge of fake news as a result of advancements in technology which has given rise to various social media platforms.
“I am glad that this mentorship programme is meant to teach young professionals how to collect, report, edit and disseminate objective balanced information,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary said the media career is a good profession as it impact, influence and power it has on the lives and general wellbeing of the people.
“This means that those who choose to pursue this profession must ensure that they acquire the requisite training and have a fair understanding of issues that impact the lives of people who depend on them to make informed decisions,” advised Malupenga.