UN urges journalists to promote development

HARARE - Journalists have been urged to move away from political and civil issues and concentrate on socio- economic issues to develop the nation.

At a capacity-building workshop in Masvingo attended by a team of UN members and journalists, participants concluded that development is key to rebuilding the economy which is essential in achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Speaking to reporters and editors from various media houses, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, Marcelin Hepie said the media plays an important role in national development, which involves advancement in political and economic social wellbeing of people.

“Media represents the tool for shaping public opinion, promoting development, democracy and good governance, facilitating nation building and promoting policies that promote high quality of life,” said Hepie.

The UN women representative Pat Made said in terms of development, addressing maternal mortality was key to the development of Zimbabwe.

“Development needs a gender perspective to be complete because half of Zimbabwe’s population are women.
“The Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS) revealed that mass communication is low in women, there is a gap there that needs to be filled in order to move forward,” said Made.

“In terms of development, maternal mortality rate is too high. And the number of mothers dying giving birth has gone up meaning that in terms of development, Zimbabwe is going backward instead of forward.”

Retired major Anywhere Mutambudzi, a director in the ministry of Information and Publicity, said the government attaches great value to the role of media in promoting development and the wellbeing of the people.

“In recognition of forgoing, the government in the Medium-Term Plan (MTP) 2011-2015 which aims to achieve “sustainable inclusive growth, human-centred development, transformation and poverty reduction” has among other important issues, identified media development as one of the key sectors that are imperative to realize growth and development,” said Mutambudzi.

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