The future of Journalism without fear or favour

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By Godfrida Chanda

My reflection today is on how the future of our professionalism and today’s discussions on the challenges that being faced in the media fraternity is a reminder that the future of our profession lies in the facilitation and promotion of children broadcasting in Zambia.

For a long time, this is an area that has remained undeveloped despite the industry or number of the media houses going up.

Its high time we accepted that we can do better and become nurturing a new crop that will enhance professionalism and gasp the principles of journalism at an early stage!I have always mentioned that journalism skills needs to be nurtured while children are still young. Just like other subjects in Schools, children need to identify thier strength in journalism at an early stage, then, will build the caliber of professionals who will fear nothing but write with factual information without favour.

Iam sure most of us have seen and testified the goodness of those that have passed through the training at an early stage. From my preminary research that have conducted, i have observed that infact, early training in the media fratenity adds value to the education sector. Children gain the confidence and other media related skills to perform better in Class. Imagine if most of us were given such an opportunity?

That is exactly what is happening in the developed world. Journalists start journalism trainings while they are young and they grow up practicing.

Children also need mentors in thier area of lives and give them enougn positivity about the profession.There are alot of misconceptions and myths about our profession enabling most children not to be interested in the career. We need to strengthen the gaps that we have identified by giving out the right information and behave in a way that is deemed fit for our society. Old Journalists probably can come together to mentor the young ones in Schools even Colleges and Universities so that every journalist is equip with a right a right mindset.Even better, initiate Press Clubs! Also, by sharing our experiences to children, will inspire alot. Most the journalist stories remain untold.We are good at publicizing other peoples’stories but who will tell ours? It is now or never!

This has also negatively impacted the production of childrens local content in most media houses. Children in our Country are subject to any content and parents have no control because they have no choice. Children are subjected to the western culture easily forgetting our culture.Children behave in our accordance to what they hear and see, then should we question our lifestyle. How then can we teach our children to embrace our norms and values. This is even worse this COVID-19 period when they are at home.In short, we need to consider the promotion of local content whose script is written and produced by children themselves. From the preminary research also, observed that when children have to produce a programme, then a producer has to write a script and give it to a child to memorize.Children talk to, confess that it is easier to master your own peace with your own idea. This was proved that this is possible when Diamond TV produced childrens programming on this years International Children Day of Broadcasting.May be, it could be that very few journalists have undergone the training of children in the production of childrens content or programming, that is why most of the journalists are not interested in this area.

Additionally, very few advertises would be willing to sponsor a childs programme.Normally, that is the challenge worldwide not only here in Zambia.

Having professionally trained children will help in regulating the media industry because self-regulations will apply focusing on standardization. They will be able to read,analyse, evaluate and produce better content for communications in various media houses.

Everything will fall in place including Governments policies and regulations that support children broadcasting leading to more investments in the sector.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31