IT IS a no brainer that media houses are in it for the business, it is unfortunate however when trained professionals demean their profession all in the name of business or pushing their own agenda. I have noticed with concern how some media houses have been erroneously reporting facts around Mopani sale agreement.
The News Diggers on Tuesday this week claimed to be quoting ZCCM-IH Chief, they reported that Glencore will be collecting 80% of copper sales over the next 10 to 17 years to pay off the US$1.5 billion debt. Either News Diggers has another sale agreement only known to them or they are outrightly reporting fake news to create negative sentiments.
The truth of the matter is that he US$1.5 billion debt will be serviced in the period spanning 10 to 17 years. ZCCM-IH will service the payment through mineral sales, of the total sales 10 % will be going towards servicing the debt.
Contrary to some reports by some media houses, this sale agreement debt has no bearing on Zambia’s external public debt as it is purely a business deal between ZCCM-IH and Glencore. Others are erroneously reporting that the deal is unprofitable for Zambians. In actual sense there are still about 200 million tonnes of ore which could be processed into copper, cobalt and gold.
Media houses in Zambia should be earning their reputation through quality, truthfulness, speed and exclusivity of the information they provide. Unfortunately, a big challenge faced by companies producing and distributing media in Zambia is that of information that is deliberately misrepresented with the aim of deceiving an audience for political or personal purposes.
It is typical for readers or consumers of this information to more likely seek out news that reinforces their existing views, even if it’s based on unreliable information.