15 Feb REMARKS BY THE ZIMBABWE MEDIA COMMISSION CHAIRMAN, MR. GODFREY MAJONGA: MEETING WITH EDITORS: ZMC BOARDROOM 15 FEBRUARY 2010
Fellow Commissioners here present
The ZMC Chief Executive Officer
Editors here present
Ladies and Gentlemen
As you are all aware, members of the media fraternity, the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) was established through Constitutional Amendment No. 19 of 2009. The Commission then came into being in February 2010 through the gazetting of its establishment by the President.
Since assuming office, the Commission has encountered a number of challenges including lack of budgetary support. This notwithstanding, the Commission managed to pursue its mandate as provided for by the Constitution and the enabling legislation, that is, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
To date, the Commission has registered 15 media houses with the latest one having been registered last week on the 10th of February 2010, that is, one daily newspaper, one magazine and a local office of a foreign news agency.
Our expectation as a Commission was that all media houses licensed since last year would quickly roll-out their business plans so as to afford our readers variety in terms of what is on offer. Only a handful of media houses from those licensed have managed to start publishing. This is a cause for concern for the Commission. We encourage those media houses that were licensed and are facing difficulties to approach us so that we can understand their problems.
Ladies and gentlemen, since assuming office last year, the Commission did not have an opportunity to meet with the drivers of this sector, that is, you the editors. We have called this meeting so that we can know each other, share problems and challenges affecting the sector and at the same time having your input to enable the Commission to draw up its strategic plan for the remaining period of its tenure.
Many stakeholders have complained about the standards of reporting by our media. They point to a lack of professionalism and sometimes a complete disregard of those ethics that should guide us as journalists. The Commission feels that this meeting will afford us the opportunity to discuss such issues which include the setting up of a code of ethics or standards for the sector and the setting up of a Media Council as provided for by AIPPA.
Ladies and gentlemen let me once again thank you for coming and hope that this first meeting between the Commission and you members of the media fraternity will result in a clear understanding between ourselves and help build a media regime that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.
I thank you.