Simbarashe Fenton M
The Media, as a practice has been commended and tipped to play a critical role in national development initiatives, The Guiding Star can report.
Speaking during the Inaugural Midlands Media Awards (MMA) awarding ceremony in Gweru recently, guest honour and Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) Vice-Chairperson Commissioner Jasper Maposa commended the role of journalists and media practitioners as conduits of information critical in national development narratives.
“My task is very simple, to hammer and reinforce on the critical aspects on what ZMC values and my presence is no vain testimony that we attach enormous value and significance on what journalists are doing.
The awards have come at an opportune moment when the buzz word is Devolution, devolution speaks of devolving power, and you are that critical vehicle towards the promotion of local narratives,” he said.
Zimbabwe Media Commission, as a Media watchdog of the government, applauded the formulation of the awards as proactive and assist in its drive for professional media landscape, the presence of ZMC signals the ‘commitment’ of the government in lobbying for good media practices and ‘freedom of the media’.
In the era where information has become a vital resource,source of power and an enabler as far as development is concerned, it is the duty of the media to meet its obligations, to propel the public, the marginal so as to realise and make well informed decisions for desired change on their livelihoods.
The guest of honour for the event, Midlands Province Minister of State and Devolution Honourable Larry Mavhima denoted that the media has a major role to play in the understanding and implementation of the National Development Strategy One (NDS1) and lauded the professional conduct of the media in the province.
“The media should play an important role to make its audience to fully understand and appreciate the National Development Strategy One (NDS1).
Media practitioners in the Midlands province are not corrupt, they are professionals. I have never pounded with a dollar to receive good coverage.
I thank the Media for its coverage on Covid 19 and i urge everyone out there to safe because Covid is real and get vaccinated.” said Mavhima.
The right to Access to Information and Freedom of Expression as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the 2013 Constitution gives the media the power to interpret, educate and inform citizens on important narratives which determine development in its different contexts.
After decades statutory regulation and persecution of journalists enforced by the draconian Access to Information for Privacy Protection Act (AIPPA), the second republic government has shown keep interest in reforming the governing and regulation of Media practice in Zimbabwe by disbanding the ruthless Act.
The MMA are in line with the governments ‘objective’ of devolving media narratives and the media plays an important and key role as far as devolution,democracy,de-monopolisation and development is concerned.
“The Inaugural MMA are a recognition of excellence, passion and unique reporting of issues happening in the Midlands province. The role of the Awards is to is to i spire ethical and critical journalism of course down into the realities of people in the province…” said Willie Mponda, MMA Chairperson who steered the process with the resourceful help of adjudicators Dr. Oswald Ureke, Abigail Gumanya and led by Dr. Lyton Ncube.
Running under the theme, Journalism excellence for Community Development, the inaugural edition of the MMA saw journalists in 11 categories, Municipal Reporter of the Year, Mining Reporter of the Year, Business Reporter of the Year, Crime and Sorts reporter of the Year, Rural Community development Reporter of the Year, Health Reporter of the Year, Environmental Reporter of the Year, Political and Investigative Reporter of the Year Award amoung others being awarded for their excellence, contribution to community development and good ethical reportage.