Media watchdogs bemoan excessive Grace coverage

HARARE - Media organisations are crying foul over excessive coverage of the First Lady, Grace Mugabe on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) stations saying government is abusing the State media.

Since the First Lady began her rallies, the media, especially the State broadcaster, has been awash with propaganda stories about her.

Media organisations feel the State media has sacrificed developmental issues in favour of the First Lady.

“It’s a complete abuse of the public broadcaster,” Nhlanhla Ngwenya, director of Misa Zimbabwe said.

Ngwenya said citizens should demand the liberalisation of the public media as stipulated by the new Constitution.

“What is sad is that Zimbabweans have simply watched successive Zanu PF governments brazenly seize their media and turn them into slavish party megaphones.

“It is time that Zimbabweans use the rights granted to them by the new constitution to demand the liberation of the public media from enslaving political shackles in order to restore their public service mandate and inculcate professional sanity at the media houses,” he said.

Loughty Dube, the director at Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) said the country is faced with economic issues that deserve more prominence that the first lady.

“The coverage of an individual will never cloud pressing national issues,” Dube said.

“I don’t think her rallies are so much of news that they can be given too much space during the state broadcaster’s news hour.

“It is unfair and clear abuse of power. We have more pressing economic issues that also need prominence. People do not have tap water, electricity and there is a liquidity crisis.”

Chairman of Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) Brian Mangwende said the media should balance its coverage of issues.

“Although the first lady has every right to be covered by the media, we believe that other issues should be given equal access.

“As Zinef, we are not saying she should not be covered but the same prominence should be given to developmental issues,” said Mangwende.

Comments (19)

Very true Sir

protestor - 13 October 2014

i think nemi you guys you spend donors funds muchitaura zvisina basa.for starters about 80% of population do not watch zbc/ztv. your arguments should be directed at pvt print houses who do report about grace day in day out, its open secret that zbc is zanu and so is herald so where is the problem.

mukadzemusango - 13 October 2014

People are not forced to watch ZTV. What I dont understand is do people come to Dailynews to lodge such complains or its you who solicite for such complains. The later is true knowing dailynews the way I do.

Ndugu - 13 October 2014

Grace Mugabe and Ebola must be reported on. There is nothing like excessive coverage!

Nduna - 13 October 2014

Kikiki. I didn't know people still watched ztv/zbc !!!! ???? Brainwashed mandiwanzira the slimy crook

pasi zanupf - 13 October 2014

Kikiki. I didn't know people still watched ztv/zbc !!!! ???? Brainwashed mandiwanzira the slimy crook

pasi zanupf - 13 October 2014

Nothing wrong with coverage. News worth info should be covered

liberty shungu - 14 October 2014

ZBC has done nothing wrong. it is a government mouth-piece, and the government is headed by a head of State who happens to have a wife who is constitutionally entitled to participate in politics...and thats News. Is there anything wrong Mr Editor? How many times does The Daily News run headlines and cartoons on HE R.G Mugabe in a week? I bet 6/7. So MISA, VCMZ, ED FORUM just want to justify the monies that they are receiving from their donors.

Strange - 14 October 2014

ko imi mukureporta on her wani ma nonsense e vanhu

chimbwidz - 14 October 2014

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 14 October 2014

Popular this week 1. Nothing special about a PhD: Grace 27,132 2. I want to lead Zim — Grace 26,290 3. 'Grace Mugabe for president' 25,183 4. You can kill me - Grace 24,330 5. Mugabe is a priest: Grace 6.Grace's sponsors misreading the game 7.Grace a gift to the opposition

Observer - 14 October 2014

DAILYNEWS Popular stories this week 1. Nothing special about a PhD: Grace 27,132 2. I want to lead Zim — Grace 26,290 3. 'Grace Mugabe for president' 25,183 4. You can kill me - Grace 24,330 5. Mugabe is a priest: Grace 6.Grace's sponsors misreading the game 7.Grace a gift to the opposition

Observer - 14 October 2014

Unknowingly, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, a once astute champion of the people's course, has alreday dwarfed Monhutu Se Seseko and Idi Amin in many ways.

selele - 14 October 2014

What did you expect when Jonah became media boss? That man has the craftiest, dirtiest mind in ZANU PF (Mugabe included) and everyting he does has a n intended, calculated result. He is behind the over-exposure of Grace. by state media. The big question is WHY?

Johno - 14 October 2014

If only there was an opposition party in Zimbabwe this year would have been the year Zimbabwean freed themselves from the corrupt individuals who believe Zimbabwe is a privately owned state and maybe we would have been saved from the Dynasty that is being formed here? GOD HELP US.

Humba - 14 October 2014

maihwe , hahaha pane mubharanzi ACHAONA ZTV HERE KUPENGA CHAIKO

ngulube - 14 October 2014

I think its all about taking the right priorities.What good does her rallies do for the ordinary Zimbabweans who are the taxpayers?Now what do you expect from the media house under the stewardship of Jonah and his second in command Supa who strive best to please or appease their boss.Please deliver us from insanity

carson Macate - 14 October 2014

This story is based on a VERY SHALLOW appreciation of the reality of media politics!! In all countries under the sun, UK & USA included, media ownership is all about political relationships & interests. That's why during military campaigns like "Desert Storm" big media houses like CNN would provide "embedded" journalists would travel with the soldiers and not surprisingly gave positive coverage of the war. BBC does NOT offend against the official govt position!!

ZVOKWADI - 14 October 2014

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