Zambian Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda is concerned with the low salaries and deplorable working conditions journalists in some media houses are subjected to.
Ms. Kasanda described it as disheartening, saying it is unacceptable that some institutions could be paying their journalists as low as K900 per month.
She said that this cannot be given room for propagation and has since called for a meeting with media owners to establish what the problem is.
Ms. Kasanda said like other professionals, journalists play a very important role in society and must be given the respect and dignity they deserve.
The minister was speaking when the Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA) paid a courtesy call on her.
According to Kasanda her ministry will ensure that a conducive environment is created for journalists to professionally do their job.
“As a ministry, we are concerned about low salaries some media houses are paying their journalist. I have since instructed that a meeting be arranged with media owners so that we can find a solution to this problem,” she said.
Meanwhile, Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA) chairperson Caroline Kalombwe said the poor conditions of service for journalists are worrying.
Adding that if not addressed the situation has the potential to compromise the quality of information members of the public are given.
She appealed to the ministry of information and media to take a keen interest in the discussion around the proposal for a sector minimum wage for journalists.
“As the saying goes, a hungry journalist is a danger to society and that’s why we want your ministry to seriously take interest in this matter,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kalombe has urged the Zambian government to give chance to women to lead media institutions.
She said all public media institutions have women with requisite qualifications and experience for appointment to top positions.