JOURNALISTS need to fully acquaint themselves with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and other technology advancements for them to effectively keep the public informed.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Minister Christopher Yaluma said this during the launch of ICT media awards and Girls in ICTs ambassador programme in the country by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) on Wednesday evening.
He said that journalists should appreciate new technologies.
"For our journalists to report adequately and effectively, there is need for them to understand how these technologies work and how best they can be applied in their work and play," Mr Yaluma said.
He said the awards, therefore, would strengthen the reportages on ICT issues and further give journalists the capacity to be able to report on the matter while stimulating the usage of communication technologies.
Mr Yaluma appealed to journalists to work hard and develop their profession to allow them compete for international media recognition while improving on the writing and reporting standards locally.
Journalists should create standards that would uphold the journalism profession in Zambia.
He noted that reporters and sometime editors have received lashing because of the perceived poor quality of work produced, yet they have been given the responsibility to ensure they report accurate facts objectively.
On the "Girls in ICTs ambassadors" programme, the minister said the purpose was to provide an interactive platform between the ICT industry and the girl child.
Mr Yaluma said women who had taken up a career in ICTs would share their experiences by outlining how they chose their ICT careers and the benefits it entailed.
"The programme is borne from the "ICT Day" which will fall on every April 4th, the day celebrates the girls' interest and strengths and encourages them to choose a career in ICTs," he said.
The minister said Government's desire would remain to ensure that technologies were not for the elite but would trickle down to a wider magnitude of Zambians through the various implementation programmes.
And ZICTA director general Margaret Mudenda encouraged the journalists to participate in the awards.
Mrs Mudenda named the categories as best print, best radio, best documentary, best television story and the best picture on ICTs.