Promote peace, unity

EDITOR — I would like to appeal to our local media to avoid fanning unrest.

This comes with reference to the succession debate which has been in the spot light for some time now.

I understand that there is need for closure on this subject because as long as there is mystery on the subject the nation will be in a state of unrest.

The media love conflicts because they sell but it is unethical to take sides especially when reporting on a potentially volatile matter as this.

It is understood that the two main factions involved in the succession debate are the Mnangagwa and Mujuru groupings.

It is advisable that the media report objectively and mirror reality as it is because falling on either side will not help the nation but it increases tensions.

Need I remind you of the role the media played in the Rwandan genocide?

The Hutus and the Tutsis butchered each other.

The sanguinary brutality that characterised the event was partly attributed to the media who fanned dissent and unrest in the country.

People do not understand that  the media are a double edged sword.

On the one hand they can promote peace while being equally capable causing civil unrest.

This is why Information minister Jonathan Moyo appealed to the state-run media to shun polarisation.

I understand that issues of identity have beset the industry for a long time and whenever a media house fails to maintain some kind of loyalty to that identity, it fails to secure a loyal readership.

The media are first and foremost industrial and commercial enterprises and their bottom line is realising profit.

This is opposed to the widely-accepted view that they exist simply to inform, educate and entertain us.

While this is their mandate, their primary preoccupation is to create room for advertisers to market their products to us through their platforms.

I apologise for being so blunt but with the same measure of recklessness the media have used or should I say misused their platform, so shall they be treated.

Imagine the wars and restlessness in Egypt and parts of Libya as well as Syria, would you want that to happen to this country?

The media play a major role in the dissemination of information and should not forget that several people take their information at face value without evaluating or critiquing it.

This means they are vulnerable and can be easily misled.

I therefore appeal to the country’s media houses to promote peace and unity as it is the very basis upon which successful economies are built and established.

D Zvemisha,

Harare

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