BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana has told Parliament that most media organisations were financially incapacitated to undertake capital projects, hence scaling down on operations.
Mangwana made the remarks yesterday when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media and Information to discuss the state of the media in the country.
“Media organisations often find it difficult to raise funding for capital projects. The prevailing economic environment has forced media houses to scale down their operations and this is evident in the number of newspaper pages, print run and circulation,” he said.
“Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic effects, newspaper circulation has, thus, tended to be mostly urban centred, with community publishers having been hit the hardest by the costly operating environment, a development that does not bode well for the second republic’s devolution agenda,”Mangwana said.
“Zimbabwe’s media sector is taking too long to adapt and evolve in line with new technologies in the industry. This affects the quality, quantity and uptake of media products or content such as print publications, news, drama, documentaries and film.
“The growth of ICTs (information communication technology) and online platforms has challenged monopolies of both mainstream print and broadcasting media, underscoring the need for robustness and adeptness in terms of strategic staffing and equipment acquisition and utilisation,” he said.
He said media practitioners often faced delays in accessing information which is of public interest from officials or news sources.
“The newly-enacted Freedom of Information Act seeks to address these challenges and the ministry is currently seized with ensuring operationalisation of the Act,” he said.