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The media in Zambia consists of the radio and television stations, newspapers, magazines, and online news sites in the country.

Early newspapers in what was then known as Northern Rhodesia served the white minority that controlled the government and the economy. In the 1950s and 60s, while the African population was clamoring for independence, the federal government owned the newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, which were used to promote the goals of the federal government.

When Zambia became independent, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation was created. Patterned after the British Broadcasting Corporation, the ZNBC was intended to be autonomous and objective, yet it quickly became an organ of the government, reporting from the perspective of the ruling party. The ZNBC broadcasts news, light entertainment, sports, religious programming, and educational radio and television.

Radio enjoys far more listeners than television does viewers, and broadcasts in English and a variety of African languages are available. Television has grown more slowly, the majority of the country's programming being in English, but with some African language shows.

In recent years, the number of privately operated newspapers, radio stations, and television stations in the country have increased. Relationships between the government and the media remain tense, but the media is freer today than it was in the first years of the country's independence. Criticism of the government is no longer a crime, and the private media has taken up the role of public watchdog.

Illiteracy, the inability to afford newspaper subscriptions, radios, television sets and, in many cases, the lack of electricity, has limited the Zambian public's access to the media.

Online news media serve the Zambian diaspora more than it does most Zambians because computers are not affordable. While there are Internet cafes and other Internet sites, most of the Zambian people can't afford the access fees or prefer to spend their funds on more basic needs.



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