via We tell it like it is! – DailyNews Live 27 MARCH 2014
The Daily News Group Editor, Stanley Gama, this morning addressed the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Staff College in Harare.
We publish below the full text of his presentation.
THANK you very much for inviting me here.
We at the Daily News are always very grateful for opportunities such as this one, where we can exchange notes and enrich each other with other influential people in our society like you.
Allow me also to point out that your invitation came at an exciting, important time in the history of our country; characterised by rapid changes in every facet of our society.
Indeed, just less than a year ago, we moved from a cumbersome GNU to a new administration led by Zanu PF, which is refreshingly allowing a most welcome free-flow of information.
As many of you will probably agree, our emerging democracy can only get stronger if the current open marketplace of ideas continues to obtain in our beloved country. For, it is out of a healthy contestation of ideas that the best policies can emerge in the country and be implemented for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.
We at the Daily News earnestly believe that we have both a patriotic and national duty to play a central role in this marketplace of ideas.
In this endeavour, our duty, like our treasured uniformed services, is to our country. Not to individuals, businesses and political parties. Unless those individuals, businesses and political parties are advancing the interests of the country and ALL Zimbabweans, not sectional or factional interests.
This is why we, as a national and patriotic newspaper always ‘tell it like it is’ – absolutely and unequivocally without fear or favour.
It is our patriotic and national duty.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Zimbabweans, by far, appreciate this patriotic duty of ours, and support our work to the hilt.
This by the way, includes the uniformed services, businesses and political parties such as the ruling Zanu PF.
– For your information, ladies and gentlemen, 90 percent of our stories – whether some people may perceive them positively or negatively, are very often given to us in good faith by very senior people in government, in business, within political parties such as Zanu PF and within the uniformed or intelligence services.
Let me assure you that all these valued sources of our stories, and I will not name any of them today because our profession is premised on respect and protection of sources, assist us in good and patriotic faith!
So, you see from my observation above that the media, be they public or private media in our country, is not at war with anybody – be it the government, politicians or the business community.
We are just what some people prefer to call the Fourth Estate, that not only watches, but supports the three critical Estates or pillars of any democracy – that is the government/executive, Parliament and the judiciary.
So, if there are any among you who are a bit wary of the media, please relax. Just like the uniformed forces, our agenda is an honest one, to serve our country and our people to the best of our ability.
– Is the media above reproach or incapable of making mistakes? No! But that doesn’t make us less important and valuable just because we sometimes get things wrong or get told incorrect things as we strive to do the best thing for our country.
– The uniformed forces are very familiar with what I’m talking about here. Just because there is sometimes unfortunate and unavoidable collateral damage as they seek to do their patriotic duty does not mean that uniformed forces are less valuable or necessary. It’s just a hazard of the profession.
So, please don’t be too harsh on us when you occasionally see something that you may not be entirely happy with. We are all on the same good mission.
I do hope that with these few opening statements that we can get a proper two-way communication today, and going forward into the future, so that we can all build a better Zimbabwe that works for all Zimbabwe.