Accreditation of Journalists
An accreditation card, valid for one year, is the only proof that a journalist is accredited with the Zimbabwe Media Commission. All accreditation cards expire on 31 December of each year. Journalists must renew their accreditation status before 31 December of each year. A journalist who fails to renew his or her accreditation status by this day will be levied a penalty fee of US$10.00. The accreditation of journalists is provided for in section 79 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The manner and form in which journalists submit applications for accreditation is prescribed in Statutory Instrument 169C of 2002. Application for accreditation as a journalist is done through completion of Form AP3. The requirements for presenting an application for accreditation are as follows:
- A certified copy of National Registration;
- Certified copy of professional and academic qualifications or sample of past work;
- Where diplomas or certificates are not available, present at least five copies of past work;
- One passport size photograph;
- Any other relevant attachments such as referees’ letters, testimonials and citations where available;
- Accreditation fee of $10.00 for both full time and freelance journalists; and
- A stamp of the employer on page five of the form.
When a journalist changes his/her status, that is, if he/she moves from one media house to another or from a freelance status to a full-time one, he/she has to submit a new application.
A mass media service may make a block application for its journalists or let individual journalists make their own applications.
Only Zimbabwean citizens or those permanently resident in Zimbabwe may be accredited for a full year as journalists. A journalist who is not a Zimbabwean citizen may obtain temporary accreditation for a period not exceeding 60 days. If his or her assignment exceeds 60 days in the country, he or she has to apply for an extension of the accreditation period.
Privileges of Journalists
Only accredited journalists can enjoy the following journalistic privileges;
- To enquire, gather, receive and disseminate information in Zimbabwe;
- To visit Parliament and any other public body for the purposes of carrying out duties as a journalist;
- To be given prior access or privileged access to records or documents which the Act allows;
- To attend any national and public events with the express purpose of carrying out duties as a journalist; and
- To make any recordings in connection with carrying out duties as a journalist.
Roll of Journalists
The ZMC is required, under Section 82, to keep a Roll or Register of all accredited journalists.