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Title: Public Media and Public Expectation of Service Delivery in Zambia - Convergence or Divergence?
Authors: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta
Keywords: Print Media
Internet Service Providers
Electronic media
Social Media
Content Gap
Issue Date: 11-May-2017
Publisher: The International Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Research
Abstract: Most people in Zambia expect a lot of quality content from the public media which is funded from taxpayers’ money. The sole objective of this research is to examine the public interest vis-a-vis public expectation of best public media practice in Zambia in light of the many obstacles they face such as the state ownership and control of the major newspapers and broadcasting stations. The airwaves and media space are controlled by a state monopoly outfit that sells broadband to other private users such as the cell phone and internet service providers. The state monopoly itself competes with the private providers, such that there is little space for the private providers to operate freely as there is a conflict of interest. There is a public perception of public media capture, bias, abuse, misinformation, and perceived state censorship and manipulation of news items. This paper examines the role of the public media in Zambia and tries to unearth some of the challenges facing public media practitioners, and proffers some solutions. This paper uses the methodology of primary and secondary research to examine how social media is filling the information gap in terms of content and variety and in the process creating some positive and negative externalities of entertainment and education on the one hand, and misinformation and political instability on the other hand. The paper further examines the decomposition of public media content in the various news coverage items and explains why the pattern is the way it is. Finally, the research ends with some recommendations on the way forward towards the creation of a more vibrant, creative, and independent public media which is efficient, effective, user-friendly, responsible, and responsive to public expectations, in line with modern trends in western countries.
Description: Journal Article
ISSN: 3471-7102
Appears in Collections:Research Papers and Journal Articles

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