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HomeNewsCommission Takes Steps to Ensure Responsible Media Coverage in Upcoming Elections

Commission Takes Steps to Ensure Responsible Media Coverage in Upcoming Elections

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is committed to ensuring that the media fulfills its constitutional duty in the forthcoming elections, according to Professor Ruby Magosvongwe, the Chairperson of the ZMC.

As the regulator of the media industry in Zimbabwe, the commission’s responsibilities include upholding, promoting, and developing freedom of the media, enforcing ethical practices, promoting fair competition, and ensuring media diversity.

Addressing journalists in Harare, ZMC Chairperson Professor Ruby Magosvongwe emphasized the importance of a professional and responsible media that promotes the free flow of information and enables citizens to make informed decisions.

“The media, as the fourth estate, plays a crucial role in facilitating communication between contestants and voters. By providing a platform for public debate, scrutinizing and informing the public about candidates’ policies and political parties, the media empowers voters to make informed decisions when they cast their votes,” said Professor Magosvongwe.

In line with its legal obligations, the ZMC has already taken steps to equip media professionals for their role in the upcoming elections.

“In line with these legal requirements, ZMC has already begun processes to capacitate the Media players to play their role. The Commission has already launched an Elections Reporting and Peace Journalism Manual. Among other issues, the manual deals with the following: peace reporting, violence and conflict resolution, Safety of journalists, Elections and women, elections and youths

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“The Commission is also interested in enhancing the security of journalists during the elections period, to that end, the Commission will be engaging different stakeholders to have an appreciation of the work that journalists do. We therefore call upon stakeholders to respect the profession, allow journalists to work without undue hindrances.

“Similarly, we call upon our media players to conduct themselves professionally. This is not the time for agenda driven journalism, fake news, misinformation, disinformation and other examples of poor journalism have no place in a functional democracy. Hate speech is abhorrent and cannot be acceptable. To enhance the safety of journalists during this period, the Commission has procured Press Jackets for all practitioners who will be covering the elections. The jackets will enhance the visibility of journalists and that they will easily be identifiable,” she said.

The commission recently produced an Elections Reporting and Peace Journalism Manual, addressing topics such as peace reporting, violence and conflict resolution, the safety of journalists, as well as the involvement of women and youths in elections.

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