The government has urged the media not to compromise out their profession by taking bribes to either amplify or kill a story.
Addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe Agriculture Media Awards and cocktail held in the capital yesterday, Deputy Minister of Information , Publicity and Broadcasting Services Kindness Paradza said the media should report without fear or favour and discharge their duty objectively and impactfully, highlighting in equal measure, areas where farmers have excelled and where they need to improve.
“I urge the media to report on challenges in the agriculture sector, and to lead in the process of finding solutions to problems.
“You must dig deeper and bring out the true story, a story that bring new facts and understanding to the fore of what you are writing about.
“Through your printed or broadcast word, you must also highlight all the achievements in the Agricultural Sector especially new innovations, discoveries and inventions.
“Access to Information is increasingly recognized as a pre-requisite for sustainable development as it is also anchored in the 2030 Agenda.
“As part of our mass communication strategy, our aim is to have both the radios and newspapers to be part of the devolution agenda,” he said.
He added that as part of media Reform Agenda, government has already enacted the Freedom of Information Act to allow citizens to acquire information of their choice free of charge.
“Information as we know it, is a powerful tool in any development process.
“The Government of Zimbabwe remains committed to promoting access to information by ensuring that information is publicly available and transparent, and also providing support for the development of independent media outlets.
“Now that technology has brought convenience to audiences, one can view, listen to or read what they want, where and when they want it.
“In order to satisfy news consumers, we call upon all media houses to provide journalists with suitable ICT equipment for work in both newsrooms and in the field, so as to promote information convergence and proper audience interactivity.
“However, due to the proliferation of various social media platforms, we now encounter on daily basis, fake news and in some cases clear intentional falsehoods.
“Freedom of expression or rather freedom of the press should not be abused by spreading hate speech, ethnic hatred or steering other divisive agenda. Your freedom should go hand in hand with responsibility. Simply put, your freedom ends where my freedom begins,” he added.
The awards were organized by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society in partnership with MEJRKH Communications and Media Advisory and, Chronicle journalist Leonard Ncube scooped the overall winner award.