Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Dora Siliya has said the recently approved Access to Information (ATI) Bill is not only meant for journalists but all citizens as it will give a legal framework to all Zambians to access information from public institutions.
Siliya said the law would also prescribe what information public institutions could give out to the public and when.
The Chief Government Spokesperson said the ATI bill, once enacted, would also enable government to communicate effectively and avail information in an organised manner.
She said this during a familiarisation tour of the Zambia Daily Mail newspapers in Lusaka yesterday.
Siliya said there was need for the media to fully explain the benefits of the ATI law to the public as opposed to creating an impression that it was only meant for media practitioners.
She said the Access to Information bill which had been approved in principle by Cabinet and undergoing refinement would be taken to Parliament during the June sitting.
And Siliya has challenged journalists to set standards for their profession if it is to retain the respect and position it deserves in society.
She said there was urgent need for media practitioners to come up with measures that would protect their profession from infiltration by unscrupulous people.
Siliya explained that the call by Government for the media to self-regulate is not a sinister move but one that would help improve professionalism among media personnel.
She urged media practitioners to tell their own stories for them to discredit those telling fake stories from an uninformed perspective.
Siliya added that government’s role was only to help the media form and achieve self-regulation backed by the law.