INFORMATION and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has challenged the mainstream media to update their websites daily to avoid creating a vacuum which social media outlets are capitalising on.
According to a statement released by first secretary for Press at the Zambian High Commission in Malawi, Mr Malupenga said traditional media houses had a duty to timely provide their audiences with news and information.
The Permanent Secretary said this when he paid a courtesy call on Zambia's High Commissioner to Malawi Billy Munyumbwe on Tuesday.
He was in that country to attend a meeting with the Copyright Association of Malawi and senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture.
Mr Malupenga said timely provision of information was even more critical for Zambians living abroad who were 'thirsty' for news and information about their country.
He observed with sadness that each time he travelled out of Zambia, it was always a nightmare to access latest news and information from websites of traditional media outlets.
"I know how you are feeling especially you colleagues in the foreign service because I have experienced it before. It's actually not only frustrating but also annoying. When people are thirsty for water and all they can see is dirty water, they will be forced to drink that dirty water," he said.
He said Government was keen to promote professional journalism in Zambia.
"Freedom of expression does not entitle people to defame others. But we in the Government will not pay attention to such websites because we will be giving them unnecessary credibility," he said.
He said the team had also been to Kenya where it held successful meetings with the Copyright Board of Kenya to share experiences and ensure that the programme was well executed in Zambia.
He said Zambian musicians had been losing income due to piracy which was being perpetuated in unscrupulous people's backyards.
Mr Malupenga said Zambia was privileged to co-host with Zimbabwe the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly this year and foreign missions had a duty to showcase the country's tourism potential and investment opportunities.
Mr Munyumbwe said the media had a duty to provide accurate and objective information to the public for key decision making.
He said the media should aspire to provide information in a timely manner unlike the current scenario where the traditional Zambian media did not regularly update their websites.