‘Journalists are bribed to make up stories’

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | ‘Journalists are bribed to make up stories’ 16 July 2014

The Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) Mr Forster Dongozi says that Zimbabwean Journalists are bribed to make up stories that are meant to build or destroy individuals.

Speaking on the Voice of America’s Studio 7 on Wednesday night, Dongozi said that low wages paid to local journalists by their employers causes journalists to be easily manipulated into accepting bribes to dress up stories.

“Bribery of journalists is indeed existent amongst our journalist from people who seek to either use the media to build themselves or fight other people through the media,” said Dongozi.

“This bribery is made a lot easy because our journalists are paid a low wage which forces them to accept the bribes for a little extra income.”

Dongozi said that journalists have a huge challenge in wage negotiations as there is no National Employment Council for the industry. The workers’ representative claims that journalist find themselves having to negotiate wages individually with employers leading employers to manipulate the news men.

“With the harsh economic environment in the country and desperation for employment, journalists find themselves having to negotiate wages individually with employers forcing some of them to accept any wage offered with some accepting very low wages just to make a living,” he said.

Answering to the question on the impact of the internet and citizen journalism on the journalists and their profession, Dongozi confirmed that trained professional journalists are finding it hard to work as media houses are gradually preferring to use online sources for information over the journalists.

“The internet is really having a huge effect on the journalism profession. Media houses are now preferring to source information over the internet than wait for journalists to bring the information,” lamented Dongozi.

The media in Zimbabwe is currently facing huge criticism from various sectors particularly for its partisan reporting. Parliament and members of the public have over the years been demanding for urgent media reforms which led to the Ministry of Information coming up with the Information Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) to collect public opinions on reforms needed in the media sector.


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    Charles Frizell 9 years ago

    Well, with Zimpapers I think making up stories is part of their job description, and if they don’t do it, they get fired

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    The most dangerous man on society is the man with an empty stomach,followed by a misinformed man.Mr Forster wats the plan?

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    Davy Mufirakureva 9 years ago

    Perfectly correct that is the issue nowadays. I no longer trust them. Its either they are bribed or they fear reporting the truth or they are partisan..The best thing is to challenge them. Good analysis.

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    publicprotector 9 years ago

    The problem is that the EU poured money into newspapers and journalists for propaganda.
    Now, none of them know how to report the facts and the public grew tired of newspapers full of rubbish- so newspaper sales are down and journalists are out of work-they did it all by themselves, so don’t cry to us now.

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    nyoni 9 years ago

    Thats nothing new to most of us. Why has Bob and co got away with it for so long. Now that things are hard they speak up now. You journos have worked hand in glove with the enemy for years. You should be ashamed of yourselves .

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    It is easy to ignore what the Zanupf journalist writes or says on television. Infact many people in urban areas do not bother to read political news from the Herald or the Chronicle. They do not watch ZBC news because they believe its just cheap propaganda, transparent lies, anti opposition distortions, deliberate twisting of facts or just stale news meant to hoodwink the population. Lately there has been evidence that as the jostling for recognition to get Mugabe’s attention increases some pro Zanupf reporters have favored others against their counter parts or just built cooked up success stories in constituencies. But the most painful development is the partisanship and the blind polarization of the so called independent press that has adopted perfectly all the tactics of Zanupf. During the 2013 campaigns some journalists deliberately ignored what other political opinions were saying and practically became the Bible or the Koran of a political party. That is when bribery became evident. Zimbabweans crying for democracy are being manipulated and made to believe what the journalist chooses. Now people have lost confidence. One has to read from several sources to come out with an “almost” accurate picture of the report.

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    lack of integrity all round…