Media in Zambia
The main daily papers are the post, which is privately owned and fairly independent, and the Times Of Zambia
and the Daily Mail
, both of which are owned by the government. The Financial Mail
is part of the Daily Mail
, as are the Sunday Mail
and the Sunday Times
. On the whole, the post is the most outspoken and interesting paper.
There are also several weekly papers, including the National Mirror
and several which are very political. There are also a few good monthlies, including The Farmer
and the indispensable Lusaka Lowdown
Zambia claims to have a free press, and most issues are debated openly. However, when the more sensitive ones are skirted around, only The Post
tries to take a more investigative approach. Often this is respected, but see Zambia's most recent history in The late 1990s
for an example of an incident when the authorities were less than respectful in their approach.
You can find the very the latest news from The Post
in Zambia on the web at www.zamnet.zm/zamnet/post/post.html, or from the Times of Zambia
at www. times.co.zm. Some of the stories can be fascinating, so it's well worth having a look before you go.
Radio and TV
Radio is limited, as Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, ZNBC, runs three channels which are all used as government communication tools: Radio 1, Home Service and Radio 4. (Radio 4 used to be the rather fun Radio Mulungushi, until it was swallowed up.)
There is some good news though, as in the cities – especially Lusaka – you'll find smaller commercial stations. The obvious is probably Phoenix Radio, which broadcasts popular music and Zambian news, though it's worth scanning the airwaves. Outside of the large cities, you'll find little, although those with short-wave radios can always seek the BBC World Service, the Voice of America, and Radio Canada.
The public TV stations are also run by ZNBC. They broadcast only in the evenings, from about 17.00 to 23.00, and stick to the official party line on most issues. That said, do tune in – some of their panel debates can be fascinating! Many of the larger hotels with TVs in rooms will also subscribe to satellite TV channels, often including BBC World, CNN, and/or the South African cable network, M-Net, with its multitude of sports and movie channels.