State media silence shocking

Source: State media silence shocking – DailyNews Live

17 August 2017

HARARE – The local public media’s silence on skirmishes involving First
Lady Grace Mugabe in South Africa, where she allegedly severely assaulted
a 20-year-old woman she had found with her sons at an upmarket hotel in
Sandton is shocking to say the least.

Grace is the President’s wife and a public figure, hence the nation needed
to be updated by the public media – both electronic and print – on such an
occurrence.

While all television news channels from around the world were reporting on
Grace’s case, we thought that our public media would notify and update us
on the first lady’s brush with the law in South Africa.

This was not to be as the public media completely ignored the story as
though nothing ever happened.

Such blackout should not be tolerated, especially when we are talking of
the country’s first lady.

The public media’s censorship of such an important occurrence puts to
doubt the public media’s sincerity to publishing the truth about
high-profile figures.

Interestingly, and curiously too, Grace recently  lashed out at
Information permanent secretary George Charamba whom she accused of using
State media to censor certain personalities – this time it was to her
advantage.

There was no need for the public media to completely ignore Grace’s case
because this actually brews gossip and alarming theories around the first
family.

One wonders how many important national stories are swept under the carpet
by State media houses.

The public media should remember that they are the government’s mouthpiece
and we expect them to operate as such, updating us on issues of national
importance.

Similarly, when Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently fell sick, we
expected to hear more about his condition through State media.

It was not to be with government only responding later through the Health
minister. State electronic media, especially television, failed in its
role as a public broadcaster in updating us on Mnangagwa’s health.
Remember he is the country’s vice president.

We hope the public media and government has learnt a lesson or two in that
in today’s world of social media, news travels fast and trying to blackout
such stories with public interest will not hold.

The recent blackout of Grace’s fracas in South Africa and even Mnangagwa’s
illness, especially on State television, is the reason why Zimbabweans are
calling for a swift liberalisation of the broadcasting sector so as to
include private players.

And as we fast approach the 2018 elections, we expect the self-censorship
at ZBC to heighten up and probably even suspect that even if political
violence involving the ruling Zanu PF breaks out, such news items may not
find favour with the public broadcaster.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    Nzaratakarima 5 years ago

    Their biggest problem is that they do not know that they do not control information any more.