Masuku earns Press Freedom gong

HARARE – John Masuku, the executive director of Radio Voice of the People (VoP), is the winner of Misa-Zimbabwe’s Press Freedom Award for 2013.

The award was presented at Misa-Zimbabwe’s annual general meeting held in Bulawayo on June 29.

The award is presented in honour and recognition of an individual or institution that would have played a significant role in the defence and promotion of media freedom, freedom of expression and the right to access to information.

Presenting the award, Misa-Zimbabwe trustee Chris Chinaka, noted Masuku’s immense contribution in raising the professional standards of journalism through lecturing, mentorship and gender main-streaming in the media.

“He (Masuku) seemed shy and surprised that anyone had noted his work,” said Chinaka.

Masuku said he was excited and humbled as he did not expect to receive anything for his work.

“When we do our work we do not expect to receive any award. I am very excited and humbled to receive the Misa Press Freedom award,” he said.

Masuku was cited for the award for continuing to weather the storm in his quest for a diversified broadcasting sector in Zimbabwe despite being vilified for operating what the authorities refer to as a “pirate radio station.”

Together with his board members, Masuku has been incarcerated for operating Radio VOP without a licence in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act.

He has nonetheless soldiered on providing alternative voices and views on Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and political dynamics.

Other nominees included ZiFM’s Supa Mandiwanzira, veteran broadcast journalist Tapfuma Machakaire, and Masvingo-based freelance journalist Golden Maunganidze.

Comments (1)

Of course Mr. Masuku has been in the trenches for media plurality for ever, he deserves a lot more than this. It is a fitting tribute to one unsung hero who has been in the mass media trenches for upwards of almost 40 years. Gives credence to the general saying "You cant keep a good man down." Congratulations are in order here!

gutter poet - 3 July 2013

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