Be responsible, court tells media
Kitwe chief resident magistrate Penjani Lamba has urged the media to exercise utmost care and responsibility in their reportage of court matters. Magistrate Lamba’s caution came in the wake of a complaint by lawyers representing former Cabinet Office permanent secretary in charge of administration Annie Mwewa regarding the manner ZNBC reported proceeding of the last sitting.
When the case came up for continuation of trial, one of Mwewa’s lawyers, Noel Simwanza told the court that the defence was disappointed with subjective and opinionated reporting of the matter by the national broadcaster. “We are praying to this honourable court to caution our friends in the media on the dangers of careless and unfactual reporting of matters that happen in court and commenting on matters that are sub-judice in a manner that is unbalanced,” he said.
Magistrate Lamba said if in doubt, it is wise in the interest of justice for journalists to seek clarification from court records which are available under supervision. She said it is always important to report court proceedings in an accurate and factual manner because media reports have a bearing on public perception of court cases.
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The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.
16 Mar 2019