State media refuse seat on VMCZ

HARARE - The state media has refused a seat on the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ), thus making it difficult for the council when it receives complaints from the public.

Addressing editors from the print and broadcasting media at a Harare hotel on Thursday, retired High Court judge George Smith, who chairs VMCZ’s Media Complaints Committee, said the state media’s reluctance to take up their seat has been a challenge.

Editors from the independent media and civil society representatives made up the gathering under the banner “Media Accountability Series”.

The main aim of the meeting was to create a platform for civil society to interact with editors on how best to utilise the media complaints mechanism.

“While VMCZ and the state media collaborate on educational activities, they refuse to participate in our programme,” said Smith.

VMCZ’s Media Complaints Committee comprises Smith,veteran journalist Chris Chinaka and Advocate Mtombeni.

It receives, mediates, and adjudicates complaints by individuals and organisations against the media.

VMCZ also seeks to form a buffer between the public and media and to serve as a medium of understanding between the two entities.

Brian Mangwende, the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum chairperson, said his organisation supported self-regulation as the best method of promoting accountability while protecting media freedom.

“The majority of editors in this country believe that the media should account for any mistakes that they make while reporting on issues,” said Mangwende.

“The media practitioners themselves would be the first to admit that they cannot be left to their own devices to report as they choose without any kind of oversight.”

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.