Columbus Mabika Herald Reporter
THE Government has bemoaned negative information in the media which is creating a false impression about the country, triggering the imposition of illegal sanctions.
To counter this, the Second Republic has opened media space across the spectrum, including ending the television monopoly previously held by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this while delivering a lecture on the state of the mass media, public opinion and foreign policy to students of the National Defence Course at National Defence University yesterday.
“We face incessant hostile attacks. There is the lurking threat of grey zone warfare by hegemonistic powers. Sanctions, financial strangulation, economic sabotage, currency attacks, induced inflationary and varied economic malfeasance is being wrongly perceived in the media,” she said.
“The grey zone warfare manifests itself in a concerted blitz of negative information, fake news and blunt propaganda.
“All this is meant to mentally disarm the population. This will open the gates to hybrid war and perhaps a full-fledged invasion. The information domain is therefore the initial frontline. The information warfare is fought long before the army and air forces are drawn to fire their guns and drop bombs in open warfare,.’
She said, the mass media played a significant role in determining public attention to foreign affairs.
“Foreign affairs events most often take place beyond the press and politics — if we learn about these events — is almost surely the product of media coverage.
“The difficulty in developing a coherent model of the foreign policy process results from conceptualising leadership, public opinion, or the media independently from the broader context of the foreign policy marketplace.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Second Republic, under its mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business”, had strived hard to mend relations with erstwhile inimical West while concurrently upgrading relations with traditional friends like China, Russia and emergent Asian economies.
“We have to promote mutually beneficial relations especially in the investment domain. This will bolster the capacity of local capital towards achieving the goal of a middle income by 2030.
“We have strived to mend relations with the West and upgrading relations with traditional friends,” she said.
Commenting on the contemporary media landscape in Zimbabwe, Minister Mutsvangwa said the Second Republic had opened media space with a self-regulation now in place in line with the universally endorsed 2013 Constitution.
“More licenses have been granted to both television and radio operators, mostly private investors.
“This will enable fuller and intended use of the frequency spectrum in line with global technological advances.
“The advent of the digital era with its Internet has ushered in a new dimension to the broadcaster arena. Webcasting now complements and even challenges traditional broadcast services.”
She said Covid-19 had seen electronic education sink deep roots among many other benefits of digital world like mobile money and e-commerce.