Top Journalist Urges Local Scribes to Sharpen their Noses

Veteran journalist Edem Djokotoe has shown his impatience with Zambian scribes for running along with rumours rather than verifying stories.

The veteran scribe Djokotoe who also doubles as a media trainer took issue with the manner the rumour about former President Dr Kenneth Kaunda being sent to Zimbabwe as a special for President Edgar Lungu to persuade Robert Mugabe to step down. Djokotoe wondered why the mainstream media had not stepped in with facts to halt the rumour.

The former Post Newspapers columnist (Soul to Soul and Mind Over Matter columns) and Evelyn Hone College Journalism lecturer has been critical of the manner the local media handles news business.

Djokotoe is one of a dying breed of scribes that are particular about how news should be reported.


I don’t get it. The minute the fake news that KK was in Zimbabwe started doing the rounds online and in the international press, government should have issued a statement dismissing the story as a hoax.

State TV should have gone to KKs home and filed a report in real time showing the old man very much in Zambia taking it easy and having no time or appetite for shuttle diplomacy. That simple, really.

News is an expensive business–whether it involves leaving the metropole and heading out into the hinterland to see at first hand the devastation caused by army worms, the influx of refugees from Congo DR or a coup in a neighbouring country you once shared an umbilical cord with.

You won’t know the facts until you spend money to get boots on the ground. You can’t reduce reality to a studio discussion programme. That’s not how you give people a sense of what is going on, which is what news should be.

And you can’t spend your whole life monitoring other stations, which is something we can do easily and without your help.

No! And there should be no place or toleration for apologetics. When I say media–and that goes for TV, radio, newspapers etc–have become the most expensive toys around, this is what I mean. What’s the point of investing mucho dinero in digital equipment if content is going to remain in a permanent state of rigor mortis?


  1. Paul Musakanya

    What a story?

  2. musial

    Direct challenge to the Zambians journalists. Hey ! improve yourselves

  3. zambia is ours

    Thanks Edem, while what you are advocating is important, to have credible news, the “rumour” you are referring to seems to be true as other credible media houses like SABC reported the same late last night!

  4. Zambia@53

    Edem Djokoto should replace HH as leader of the UPND or Editor of the Mast. He is the only sober mind on the Zambian media and political scene.

  5. nsenga Nickson

    Fantastic well done sir, I salute you

    • Sj

      Journalism like other Professions is beginning to lack Credebility. Comment

  6. Christopher Kabwe

    Shameful indeed. Do we really have scribes of substance In Zambia to talk about issues affecting the masses in our country?All have been watered down to report according to the sponsor of the trip.

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