JOURNALISTS have been urged to be factual in their reporting on Zimbabwe and help portray the correct picture of the country to the outside world.
Addressing an interactive meeting with editors and senior journalists under the banner of the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (ZINEF) in Harare yesterday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, said Zimbabweans should tell their own story.
“We do not need to be told our story by someone else,” she said. “Let us be factual when reporting because information is power.”
In an interview after the meeting, Senator Mutsvangwa stressed the importance of factual reporting.
“When we talk about the media in Zimbabwe, we are talking about both private and public media. So it is very important that we have dedicated this Saturday to meet all the editors from both the private and public media.
“We do not want polarisation, we want Zimbabwe to move like a block, we know we can have greater impact as a country when we move as a block. We have been talking to these editors about the importance of being factual, to report like a Zimbabwean who reports to unite the people of this country so that we move together.”
Senator Mutsvangwa said the media should report correctly about efforts being made by the Government to revive the country’s economy.
“Access to information is about these editors taking the right information, the good narrative to the people because at the end of the day information is powerful. Let us not feed our people with fake news, let’s not misinform or disinform our people. Let us inform our people so that we develop as a country and we have every potential to develop going forward.
“We should agree to disagree and remember that we belong to one country, Zimbabwe.”
The Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Kindness Paradza, who was meeting editors for the first time following his recent appointment, said interaction between Government and the media can help reduce polarisation.
“We cannot criticise Government day-in-day-out,” he said.
“Criticism is okay but then if Government does something positive, we should be able to mention it. This is the beginning of our association with the media fraternity and we will continue to do that, we are going to have such regular interactions with editors and even at whatever level to chart the way forward as one industry.”
Zimpapers board chairperson Mr Tommy Sithole said the media industry was ready to work hand in hand with Government. Journalists are doing an extremely wonderful job, mainly because they have a Minister who listens to them.
“We applaud the work you are doing Honourable Minister and my colleagues are ready to work with you,” he said.
Zimbabwe Network of Editors’ Forum (zinef) chairperson Dumisani Muleya said interaction with Government will help develop the industry.
“The platform where we meet broad policy makers is good and helps in making sure we develop and come up with progressive media policies that will help the country as a whole,” said Muleya.
“The media helps citizens to better understand their country”.
ZINEF is a national forum for editors from both the private and public media in Zimbabwe. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe, Media Institute of Southern Africa, ZINEF and Media Monitors Zimbabwe.