Mushowe vows to improve media industry

INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Christopher Mushowe yesterday expressed commitment to the development of comprehensive policies to improve the media industry.

Source: Mushowe vows to improve media industry – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 22, 2016

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Addressing journalists and other stakeholders at a media cocktail in Harare, Mushowe said his ministry was happy that media organisations were, this year, able to stay afloat despite a wide range of challenges.

“The year that is about to close has been a challenging one. But it is a year too that drew the best out of you as an industry. We did not have closures and it is something to be celebrated. Of course we may have had some lay-offs, which are to be lamented, but generally we have been able to keep afloat,” he said.

Mushowe said he was heartened by joint sessions comprising management of different publishers which have now become a feature of the industry, something which was unheard of a few years back.

“The basis of a healthy industry is an appreciation of common concerns which should urge us to combine wisdom and energies for effective solutions. While it might be too early for this new-found spirit to translate into joint investments, the possibility is such eventuality is increasingly looking possible,” he said.

The minister, however, expressed concern at the slow start of newly-licenced radio stations due to economic problems.

He also expressed concern at the editorial performance and ethical standards dogging the media.

Mushowe, however, said the media industry should self-regulate.

“If the truth be said, the industry remains in the throes of an ethical morass, with editorial practices which verge on blatant lapses in professionalism, going uncorrected. That is sad,” he said.

“A combination of retraining, rigorous in-house standards, shareholder guidance and genuine editorial leadership should see us faring a lot better in 2017. We, in the ministry, believe in self-regulation and peer review as preferred modus operandi. But this works to the extent that practitioners in the industry are ready and prepared to uphold it.”

“It will be a sad day indeed when the requirements of professional and ethical discipline will have to be imported into your workplaces. That day must never come, which is why we must act consistent with the mores of the craft which are so clear and so well-known and which find a loud echo in our laws.”

 

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