Government has urged the media to play a critical role in writing positive developmental stories about Zimbabwe in the new dispensation as the country moves towards its vision of a middle income economy by 2030 underpinned by the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra.
Debating in the British Parliament in 1787, Edmund Burke remarked that, “there are three estates in Parliament but in the reporters’ gallery yonder, there sits a fourth estate more important far than them all. It is not a figure of speech or witty saying, it is a literal fact, very momentous to us in these times”.
Now more than two decades later, the media still remains so powerful in many ways but more importantly in influencing public perception.
The government recognises this and for the second time in 6 months, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa met editors and senior managers of the local media to not only increase rapport, but to unpack the new dispensation’s plans for the economy and government’s expectations from the media on the journey.
True to his pledge in his inauguration speech, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s focus has been on the economy, and yet one cannot just escape the political machinations of significant others in the Zimbabwean body politic, albeit with somewhat sinister motives.
Such is what the media must report on with a critical mind.
Three key pillars – media reforms, improving corporate governance and infrastructural development, anchor the ministry’s efforts to open up the media space in the country, said Senator Mutsvangwa.
As interactive as the meeting was, the editors also had suggestions on how the government can make their work easier.
Editors from the private media were conspicuous by their absence from the meeting.
In the past, the ministry has engaged media practitioners to get their input on amendments being made to media laws in the country.