Media groups commit to observing highest ethical standards

Source: Media groups commit to observing highest ethical standards -Newsday Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE’s media groups have committed to observing the highest ethical standards in the coverage of the August 23 elections.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) said the media groups signed the pledge on the sidelines of a training workshop held in Bulawayo.

The media groups comprise State-owned, private and community media, campus radio stations and freelance journalists.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry and the Zimbabwe Institute.

“The pledge was endorsed by the government of Zimbabwe, represented by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick (Ndavaningi) Mangwana. He signed the pledge on behalf of the minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa,” Misa said.

“The three political parties with a parliamentary presence, namely Zanu PF, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) and the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), also endorsed the pledge.”

Zanu PF was represented by its deputy secretary for legal affairs, Fortune Chasi, while the MDC-T and CCC were represented by Paurina Mpariwa and Ellen Shiriyedenga, respectively.

Police, represented by provincial spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube, and Zimbabwe Media Commission executive secretary Godwin Phiri also endorsed the pledge.

The media pledge considers that elections are pivotal to democracy, hence media are required to provide accurate, reliable and essential information to empower the electorate to make informed decisions.

According to the pledge, the media commit to uphold the highest standards of impartiality, credibility and integrity and accountable to the public by putting voters and the integrity of the electoral process at the centre of reporting.

The pledge also implores the media to focus on key issues as opposed to trivial issues such as stereotyping political candidates.

Media houses were also called upon to desist from promoting hate speech.