Journalists should strive to uphold peace in Zimbabwe – Minister Mutsvangwa

by | Sep 2, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa


Information, Broadcasting and Publicity Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has called on members of the media to ensure that their work helps preserve the peace currently prevailing in the country.


Minister Mutsvangwa called on members of the media to be measured in their content creation.


She made these remarks as she launched the Virtual Peace Journalism Training being held by Makerere University and International Rotary.


“It is critical that we have a team of journalists that appreciate the value of upholding peace in political contestations.


As the Fourth Estate, the media is looked up to for information and education, particularly during elections.


It is usually during this period that tensions may be heightened, especially depending on how the media handle their reportage,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.


She pointed out how messages put out to the public may strain the social fabric and emphasized the role of the media for responsible journalism by comparing it with that of the mid-wife saying; “I am certain that the very fabric of society is put under strain when messages of hostility and tension are fed to the public without due regard of the fluid processes that make and reshape society. The responsibility to play midwife to those ever-changing processes is what I believe constitutes the sum and substance of peace journalism.”


As a tool for maintaining peace, Minister Mutsvangwa said of responsible journalism, “More importantly, it is through responsible journalism that the nation can maintain the peace that we have experienced since independence. It is always sad to read stories from other countries where the media has been found to act irresponsibly resulting in serious conflict, some of which leads to loss of life.”


Minister Mutsvangwa took time to remind guests and members of the press gathered how irresponsible journalism was principally responsible for  the unfortunate Rwandan genocide. She also gave the example of Kenya, in which the media’s coverage of the 2007 election period contributed to the escalation of conflict resulting in loss of life, displacement of persons and destruction of property. She therefore urged journalists to actively participate in the pre-emption, containment and de-escalation of possibly incendiary situations through carefully crafted messaging and to recognize that their profession is not amoral and divorced from social realities within which it operates.