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Promote Peace, Unity And Inclusion, Media Urged

Journalists have been called upon to play a role in facilitating engagement with the broad national audience to promote peace and shape the discourse around transitional justice.

Speaking to journalists at an interface organised by the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) in Harare Friday, Media Monitors Director, Farisai Chaniwa urged journalists against reporting that threatens national peace.

“In the case of promoting transitional justice, the media plays a key role in facilitating access to information by the public, the citizens have a clear right to receive fair, unbiased, and divergent views as stated in Section 62 of the Constitution.

“The media by the powers vested in them through law and social contract have the capacity to make or break a nation and media can foster democracy or stifle it and Journalists should guard against skewed reporting that leads to polarity and threatens national peace,” Chaniwa said.

She further called on the media to uphold ethical and professional standards.

“The media should report fairly completely and accurately, they should at all times be impartial, and afford fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views and dissenting opinions and the media should not promote violence or hatred against any class of persons..”, she said.

Also speaking at the same meeting, Peace Expert Consultant Dr Solomon Mangure said journalists should choose diction that promotes peace, unity, and inclusion.

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“Journalists create peace or perpetuate conflict among citizens so it is important for journalists to avoid language that encourages racial, ethnic, or religious prejudice or hatred; or violence, or is likely to lead to undue public contempt towards any class of person in Zimbabwe.

“Journalists should have a clear justification for their publishing decision in the context of the conflict, and after considering fully the risk it might pose to igniting further violence they should carefully identify and select their sources and know that information verification is key,” said Mangure.

Mangure said Journalists should understand conflict if they are to become more effective in reporting and contributing to peace building.

“When reporters understands conflict they will become aware of stories to consider important when covering stories with diverse views and how conflicting situations can be transformed to promote peace and positive social relations,” he said.

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