Zambian media bodies welcome government move to introduce minimum wage for journalists

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Foreign journalists observe the Yeya Lake Wetland Reserve in Yanqing district on October 19. (Photo by Wang Hailin from People’s Daily)
(Photo by Wang Hailin from People’s Daily)

Media bodies in Zambia on Tuesday welcomed the government’s plans to introduce a minimum wage for journalists, saying it will go a long way in improving professionalism.

Last week, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security announced that it will this year introduce a minimum wage for journalists as part of efforts to improve conditions of service and professionalism.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia says the move was a step in the right direction as it will motivate the journalist.

“The poor conditions of service for most journalists in the country has been a matter that has required urgent attention. The MISA-Zambia State of the Media Report in 2020 highlighted the poor conditions of service for journalists as one of the key issues that affect how journalists carry out their work and maintain professionalism,” Hellen Mwale, the association’s chairperson said in a release.

She said the government pronouncement will ensure and improve staff retention as more journalists will not have to leave the profession for more lucrative positions in the corporate world.

According to her, the association was pleased that the media profession has been recognized as one of the key institutions that need to be protected and motivated.

Robinson Kunda, general-secretary of the Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ), said the decision was welcome as it will go a long way in improving the welfare of journalists.

“A hungry and frustrated journalist is a threat to the country’s governance system. Journalists in Zambia, are among workers who are poorly paid,” he said in a release.

He added that the poor working conditions have resulted in journalists compromising their professionalism and engaging in yellow journalism. Enditem

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