Government has warned Zimbabwean journalists against taking bribes saying this destroys integrity and objectivity in reporting.
Speaking during the Zimbabwe Agriculture Media Awards held today Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said good journalism must go beyond mere provision of information but should contribute to finding solutions to challenges.
“In the discharge of their duties journalists have become accustomed to people who may even look up to them for answers.
“Your role therefore is to ensure nothing that is of interest to the public is left unreported and unresolved. Once you break stories in agriculture you need to follow up and ensure the story reaches its conclusion.
“This kind of journalism requires diligent work and a dedicated spirit.
“Let me therefore take this opportunity to warn our journalists against the practice of taking so called brown envelopes as this destroys integrity and objectivity in reporting,” she said.
She added that this year has been remarkable as Zimbabwe has produced more than its food requirements.
“Despite the limitations imposed by covid-19, 2021 is therefore a memorable year for the ZAMA awards. It’s a year which has underlined Zimbabwe’s ability to galvanise its potential to produce maximally in excess of local food requirement.
“In the process of that success we have created a narrative that has restored our status as the bread basket of Southern Africa. With good rains and equally good planning we have seen the commitment and ability of the Second Republic under President Emmerson Mnangagwa to deliver on its plans and promises.”
Speaking during the same event, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Douglas Karoro said from an agricultural perspective journalists need to disseminate critical information on issues such as government programmes, pest and disease outbreaks and other challenges faced by farmers.
“The media is thus an important stakeholder in the journey from seed to harvest. The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement is gratified that our media has managed to tell the Zimbabwean agricultural narrative of 2021.
“My challenge to the media is that they follow the story as it impacts on food and nutrition security, import substitution, export promotion, value addition and beneficiation, employment creation and improved rural livelihoods as envisaged in the Agriculture and Food Systems Strategy 2020 -2025. In other words the story doesn’t end with the harvest,” he said.