ZIMBABWE will continue to democratise the media industry with many commercial and community radio licences already issued and laws changed, but journalists should promote a positive image of the country, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Addressing journalism students at Harare Polytechnic during a Press Club yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa said journalists should be instrumental in unifying and building the country using the power of their profession.
“Let us not continue pushing the wrong narratives, being negative about our country. Whatever you write gives a perception about this country and when you travel outside the country, no one moves around with a badge which says I am Zanu PF, CCC or MDC; we move with our Zimbabwean passport.
“So whatever you write, let it build Zimbabwe; let it unify Zimbabwe. Let it not continue to polarise Zimbabwe because it won’t help us. This is our country together”.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Harare Polytechnic’s Division of Mass Communication had produced many prominent journalists that have made a mark locally and abroad.
She reiterated that journalists have special role to play in building the country, which seeks to attain an empowered upper middle income society by 2030.
“This is the place where we train our public relations people for Zimbabwe to be rebranded, for Zimbabwe to be put on the map. We need to speak with one voice as Zimbabwe. We need to come together and say maybe we are in a hole: how do we get out? You can’t continue to dig the hole.
“It requires all of us, especially public relations people, communicators, to unify the people of this country so that together we can chart the way forward to a Zimbabwe we all want, the “them” and “us” (syndrome) is not there anymore,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Her Ministry would continue on its path to democratise the media industry as seen by the licensing of commercial television stations, community radio stations and enactment of laws that promote freedom of expression.
The Minister also said the advent of social media had brought benefits and challenges but urged the students to use social media platforms responsibly and not as tools for disinformation and promoting fake news.
Minister Mutsvangwa also told the students, especially females, that her ministry was concerned about issues of sexual harassment in newsrooms and urged them to report whenever they encounter such malfeasance. Herald