Lusaka, October 16, 2019, ZANIS---Government says lack of training and specialization in financial and economic reporting amongst journalists in Zambia have impacted negatively on the dissemination of factual information on statistics and figures to the public.

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya has observed that business and economic reporting has remained under-developed in the country due to lack of training and specialization in financial and economic reporting amongst journalists.

Ms Siliya noted that most journalists do not make any efforts to add value to their stories by analyzing the underlying facts and factors beyond the figures and statistics provided.

She said this has resulted in shallow and half-backed information being fed to the public.

Ms Siliya added that the media have more appetite for political issues, at the expense and exclusion of more urgent and important issues of the economy that are pertinent to the public.

She said this in speech read for her by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services, Acting Human Resources Director, Derrick Wina at the awards presentation ceremony of ABSA Data Journalism Masterclass held at Hilton Gardens Hotel in Lusaka.

The Minister commended ABSA and its partners, Rhodes University for building the capacities of the Business and Sports journalists which she said is in line with government’s agenda to grow a highly skilled and professional media that contributes effectively to the national development.

And Barclays Bank Head of Marketing and Corporate relations Mato Shimabale disclosed that the bank has been in the last 5 years sending two Zambian journalists each year on a fully sponsored trip to South Africa to attend the Highway Africa Conference.

Mr Shimabale disclosed that the rebranding of Barclays Bank to ABSA is expected to be concluded by June 2020 adding that most of the Automated Teller Machines in Zambia are slowly being changed in readiness for the transition.