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    Media and population in Zambia.

    Mijoni V

    [Unpublished] [1978]. [6] p.

    Zambia's mass media has the dual task of informing the public about development issues and about Zambia's role in the liberation wars of other south African countries. To adequately fulfill these tasks, the mass media must overcome communication obstacles which stem from the historical development of the nation's mass media system. In the past, Zambia's wealth was derived primarily from copper mining. As a result, development and urbanization was confined to the Copperbelt region of the country. The mass media was developed with money derived from the copper industry and created to serve the needs of the urban elite residing in the Copperbelt. The majority of the population lives in the rural areas and is, therefore, excluded both as an audience and as a source of news. Efforts are now underway to improve the 2-way flow of information between urban and rural areas. This flow is essential for promoting public understanding of development issues. To increase the flow from the rural areas to the urban areas government reporters are now assigned to each provincial information office. The reporters send all the news from their areas by telex to the government's Information Department but also to the Zambian News Agency, which then distributes it to radio and television stations and to the newspapers. Efforts to increase the information flow from the urban areas to the rural areas includes a plan to introduce television into all the rural areas of the country. Currently, television is available in the major urban province and in 1 rural province. In reference to newspapers, there are 2 major dailies in the urban region and small government newspapers are published twice a month in each rural province. These rural newspapers are of poor quality. To improve news availability in rural areas, summaries of the news carried in the major daily urban papers are now published each week and distributed in the rural areas. An additional problem faced by the Zambian mass media is the need to depend on foreign news services for international news. These services tend to report African issues from a biased perspective and generally attribute the problems of African countries to tribalism or economic mismanagement. To overcome some of the problems associated with dependency on the foreign new services, Zambia recently joined the African Media Foundation. This organization will gather and distribute news from numerous African countries.
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