Fungai Lupande Mash Central Bureau
The Voluntary Media council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) executive director Mr Loughty Dube said they are facing challenges in maintaining journalistic standards for some on-line publications with unknown owners and reporters.
Speaking at a meeting in Bindura Mr Dube said bonafide media houses were registered with them and maintain journalistic standards.
He said they are setting up adjudicating committees in all provinces as part of their decentralising drive.
“VMCZ acts as a bridge between the media and the public. Complaints were being handled in Harare by a national adjudicating committee made up of a lawyer, a retired journalist and a member of the public,” he said.
“Provincial committees will replicate the national committee so that, not only journalists sit down to decide on complaints against them. The committees will be guided by the journalism code of conduct.”
Adjudicating committee members will be trained on how to handle complaints.
“The process is free and the remedies are a retraction, correction or apology. We understand the damages that can be done by a story if not corrected,” he said.
“Some on-line publications are a challenge because we don’t know the owners or reporters. However, bona-fide media houses are affiliated to VMCZ. As we handle complaints, we also educate the public on how the media operate.
“Sometimes the media make unintentional mistakes but credibility and integrity builds trust, respect for media houses. We also train journalists on the basics of reporting.”