The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists conducted a press-club discussion to give a review of media performance during the election period yesterday at the media center.

The panelists consisted of Real-Time Media founder Tendai Madondo, ABC Communications Kelvin Jakachira, Dickson Bandera ZRP officer in the public relations department, ZESN media officers Kelvin Maenzanise, ZESN member Emilia Bundo and other freelance journalists.

Journalists must not play the role of politicians

Jakachira highlighted that they have noted that the media was highly polarized within party lines. He also criticized journalists for abandoning their main objective of factual reporting. He added that journalists have become political analysts and not disseminators of the information which is their core business. Jakachira also took this chance to remind the journalist that their duties include informing, educating and entertaining the audience and he also urged journalists should present facts as they are. He gave an emphasis that there should be a difference between journalists and politicians. He added that are supposed to hunt down  politicians, therefore, lift the lid.

True journalists did not exist during elections: Jakachira

Jakachira also mentioned a number of journalists which included activists who were not relevant during the election period. He also talked about buddy journalists who end up reporting in favor of certain politicians. However, according to Jakachira true journalist did not exist during the election period. He pointed out that the political playground allowed the journalists to report with many angles but they failed to utilize the moment.

Journalist did not do much to engage international journalists

Tendai Madondo’s presentation, however, did not share the same sentiments as Jakachira. Madondo alluded that the media did exceptionally good during the elections. She also acknowledged that information came from Tv and radio and online and the information was authentic. However, she thinks that journalists should have done more to engage more international journalists. She added they also failed to educate the public on the roles of the MPs and the local government during the elections. Madondo also added that the political playground was not fair as some political parties could not afford access to public media.

Kelvin Maenzanise highlighted that there should be collaborations between ZESN and the media so that the journalists are equipped with knowledge.

Plenary Session

What do you think should be done to improve the media?

Madondo alluded that the media should be led by a knowledgeable person and that media houses need to be capacitated. Madondo displays eloquence that questions why she was booted out from ZBC.

Why are we failing to keep up with current news?

Jakachira pointed out that most media houses are poor that they do not even own a single car. She added that the equipment is archaic. He also castigated ZBC for not being a true public broadcaster.

What measures are you going to take to make Zimbabwe journalist more capacitated?

Jakachira stated that there is need for integration. Among all stakeholders to make sure journalists are exposed to other developed countries. Madondo added that senior media houses must junior houses a fair play in the industry.