THE Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa on Friday, 3 May 2019, praised Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) for establishing a radio station on campus and acknowledged the need for it to get an operating licence.
Giving a public lecture at the university’s Robert Mugabe School of Education under the theme, “Media, Social Innovation and the Restoration of Democracy in the 2nd Republic,” Minister Mutsvangwa spoke highly of the university’s Department of English and Media Studies for establishing a state of the art radio station to provide students with requisite skills for industry.
A media student, Thabitha Mpala had a rare opportunity to interview the minister as part of World Press Freedom Day commemorations held on May 3 annually.
This year the day was commemorated under the theme, “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.” “We are fully cognisant that there is need for a broadcasting licence for this state of the art radio station to be fully operational.
It will benefit not only the students but the broader community in Masvingo providing the much needed solutions to the day-to-day issues affecting not only Zimbabwe but humanity in general,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“Until we reach such a stage, we can’t say we have fulfilled the focus of the new dispensation. The GZU Campus radio station stands as a colossal testimony of the role that academic institutions ought to play in the social transformation agenda of our nation, indeed through social innovation.”
She said where there is innovation and progress, Government would not dither to play its part in making sure noble projects received the support they deserve. “We have licensed a number of commercial radio stations and the coming on board of university radio stations is a positive gesture that will go a long way in bringing competition, professionalism and sanity to the media fraternity,” said the Minister.
She said the GZU radio station provides a platform to return to professional journalism in the country as some people go into studios without the requisite skills and knowledge.
Minister Mutsvangwa said as the nation commemorates World Press Freedom Day, there is need for self-introspection. “Our constitution clearly indicates that we have 16 official languages. But, is our media environment reflective of this enormous diversity? If not, how can we innovatively transform our media system into stimulating robust citizen participation in economic, democracy and governance issues?” she asked.
The Minister said the Government was committed to ensuring that all constitutional provisions that support media are observed. “Government is doing everything within its capacity to make sure that all constitutional provisions which guarantee freedom of expression, the media and access to information are practically realised,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) has hailed Government for its efforts to improve the media working environment.
In an interview to commemorate World Press Freedom Day yesterday, VMCZ director Mr Loughty Dube said the initiation of the process to change laws such as Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act by Government was commendable.
“This year’s commemorations occur at a time the Zimbabwe government has made commitments to reform and transform the legal environment to be in line with the country’s democratic constitution.
The move by government is highly commendable and the media awaits the outcome of the consultative process and ultimately the final media laws expected to cover the essence and media principles valued globally.
VMCZ hopes the proposed laws will conform to and capture the country’s constitution, regional and international obligations that the Zimbabwean government is signatory to,” said Mr Dube.
“Self-regulation is the most democratic solution to challenges that Zimbabwe’s media profession currently faces.
However, under the circumstances where a statutory Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is in place, the VMCZ will consider proposals put forward by the Government constituted Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) which recommended that co-regulation is the ideal media regulation framework for Zimbabwe at the current moment but also recommended that in future media self-regulation is the best form of media regulation and the way to go for Zimbabwe.”
- Curated from The Chronicle/ GZU Facebook