Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya says News Diggers has opened itself to attacks from youths for using the word “stupid” in its editorial opinion.

And Siliya says youths have the right to dance “Dununa” whenever they want without fear of being referred to as stupid.

On Friday, News Diggers! carried an editorial opinion with the headline “Stupid, disgruntled youths should think twice before dancing Dununa next time”.

But in a letter dated 12th June 2020, addressed to News Diggers and copied to all media houses, Siliya stated that the rights of youths to dance Dununa at their own will should be respected.

“I have noticed with grave concern the culture of derogatory language creeping back into our media. An example is Friday, 12th June 2020 editorial headline in the [News] Diggers! While government has no problem with an opinion that disagrees strongly with government, it has problems with the use of the word “stupid” against the youth of Zambia. This reference has been made by Diggers editors purely because of the youth having exercised their right to support a political party of their choice. If the Diggers wishes to claim the right of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, those freedoms must also respect the freedoms of the youth of Zambia and their choice to dance “dununa” in the past, now and indeed even in the future, without fear of being reffered to as stupid,” Siliya wrote.

And Siliya stated that media houses had exposed itself to attacks from the youths.

“Secondly, this derogatory remarks expose the Diggers to possibly all manner of retaliation which might invite the youths of Zambia to attack the media house if there is no recourse. It is my considered view that the Diggers editors will see sense in apologizing to the youths of Zambia. Government has a responsibility to advise media houses not to forget the political and cultural environment they operate in. It is not a vacuum but very real. Media houses are not advocacy institutions but are there to give editorials, of and on facts, on behalf of the people of Zambia. Editorials that begin with derogatory words just take away from professionalism, our culture, our Christian values and most of all, our very democracy we wish to preserve,” stated Siliya.