IBA gives Prime TV 14 days ultimatum to apologise to Mwila
By Staff Reporter
The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has given Prime Television network a 14 day altimatum to apologise for “biased reportage” to PF General Secretary Davies Mwila.
In a communication addressed to Prime TV, IBA director general Josephine Mapoma said the TV station should also consider to hold an in-house training session to teach its staff basic journalism ethics, principals and news script writing.
Mapoma had invited the TV network proprietor Gerald Shawa to a hearing at IBA this afternoon.
“We are in receipt of a letter dated 18th February, 2019 from the Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Mwila in which he complained of a biased and unethical reportage as captioned to the Authority ” said Mapoma.
She stated that the complaint of inaccurate, biased, unethical, inflamatory, sensational and misleading news was escalated to the Authority by Mwila after not been satisfied with the response of February 16, 2019.
“We wish to mention that the allegations levelled against your station are serious and the Authority investgated the complaint in accordance with the IBA Act of 2002 section 33 to 38, which provide procedure for lodging and resolving complaints against broadcasting stations. The Authority is satisfied that the complaint was justified,” Mapoma stated, in a letter to Shawa.
She stated that after investigating Mwila’s compalints about the TV station, it was concluded that Prime TV had made several breaches of the IBA Act as well as to its own editorial guidelines.
The Director General conteded that the headline and the story suggesting that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s life was still in danger in Western Province had the potential to cause supporters of the UPND to be angered and raise agaisnt the Police and the Patriotic Front members.
She stated that the story complained of was not balanced in the sense that it showed the other side of the story.
“This was to mean that the Patriotic Front’s voice was missing and the coverage lacked evidence to show that the station even attempted to speak to the PF” Mapoma stated.
IBA has since directed Prime TV to write a letter of apology to Mwila and copy the Authority.
“We expect this letter of apology to be executed within 14 days based on the provisions of the IBA Act of 2002, particularly section 5 (2) (F), which sanctions the Authority to issue any or all broadcasters, adviosry opinion relating to broadcasting stations and ethical conduct in broadcasting and wish to advise that in your quest for content or scoop, headlines and news stories should not at any time be sensational and biased,” Mapoma stated.
She also advised the TV network to insure their news stories, sources are backed by facts and credibility and consider having an in-house training on basic journalism ethics and principles and news script writting to its journalists.