Chipata Press Club launches minimum wage campaign for poorly-paid journalists

By Staff Reporter
Chipata Press Club has kicked off a minimum wage campaign for Zambia’s journalists following complaints of poor salaries in the country’s media fraternity.
Club chairperson Oswald Yambani, said at a press briefing in Chipata on Monday that politicians have taken advantage of journalists’ misery because of the low salaries they get.
“Members of the Press, Comrades, ladies and gentlemen
We in the media industry have for a long time being advocates of change in many aspects especially regarding the welfare of many professions be it teachers, nurses among others,” Yambani said. “Our role as media practitioners is recognised as merely transmitters of information from one end to the other and basically a mere recognition is seen when people as giving speeches.
Politicians have taken advantage of our misery in terms of low wages and salaries a situation which has made some, among us becoming cadres and propagating certain political agendas for them to get extra money.”
He claimed that others had left the media to join politics while others opted to be Public Relations officers.
“This is merely because salaries are not enough to sustain one especially that the cost of living is ever going up.
Therefore, this trend cannot be allowed continue where individuals run away from the problem.
We are here to find the solution and the solution is the need to have a MINIMUM WAGE FOR MEDIA PRACTITIONERS,” Yambani said further. “We are therefore launching a Media Minimum Wage Campaign here in Chipata, a campaign which will seen us engaging traditional leaders, church leaders and members of the civil society and later submit our demand to all Members of Parliament in Eastern Province.”
Yambani said journalists want a law that will standardise the salaries of media practitioners.
“Going forward, we are challenging MISA Zambia PAZA and other media bodies to take the challenge by mobilising themselves and initiate a consultative program where they will need to meet media owners and journalist across the country so that we agree on the salary scale. We as Chipata Press Club are here as trendsetters to the beginning of change in the welfare of Journalists across the country and we call upon all Journalists and media practitioners to join the campaign,” he said. “The idea of rich people waking up and opening media institutions while paying little to employees needs to come to an end, otherwise going forward, Muzamuziba Yesu! Lastly, we want to call for unity among Journalist, unity is key in this campaign.”
The Zambian media is riddled with issues of poor wages with the state-owned and government-controlled Times of Zambia employees going for close to a year without receiving their salaries.