The chairman of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, Henry Muradzikwa, says the media in Zimbabwe is not serving the country well as it still remains polarized even though the nation recently held general elections which were won by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
Muradzikwa told journalists on the sidelines of a media workshop in Chinhoyi that the pathetic media situation in the country needs urgent attention.
Muradzikwa said as a result of the polarized media landscape, the liberty of individuals is downgraded to licensing.
He said the ZMC is unable to carry out its mandate of promoting press freedom and enforcing standards and ethics due to underfunding.
The commissioner, who is a veteran journalist, urged media practitioners to report objectively and leave editing to editors and not mislead people through self-censorship.
Muradzikwa also noted that journalists should not rely on newsmakers for the provision of some tools of the profession as this promoted biased reporting.
James Muonwa, one of the journalists who attended the workshop, echoed Muradzikwa’s sentiments saying the commission should continue interacting with journalists in order to demystify some of the negative perceptions associated with the organization.
Most journalists view the Zimbabwe Media Commission as an entity that has strong ties with the government as it gets direct state funding for all its operations.
The ZMC, which is supposed to be an independent body as per some provisions of the new constitution, was established through Constitutional Amendment No. 19 of 2009. It is in charge of registering journalists and media houses. Accreditation of journalists is currently pegged at $30, Media entities are supposed to pay $1,500 for registration.