Mainstream media should accommodate citizen journos

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Group Editor-in-Chief Vincent-Kahiya

THE mainstream media should work together with new players in the game and accommodate citizen journalists into its space, Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) Editor-In-Chief Vincent Kahiya has said.

BY MOSES MATENGA

AMH are the publishers of leading newspaper titles NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent, The Standard and Southern Eye.

Speaking at the annual Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) Bornwell Chakaodza Memorial Lecture in Harare last night, Kahiya described the former Standard Editor as a fine journalist, a political scientist and a witty mentor who played a significant role in his career development.

Chakaodza died of cancer in 2012 and the public lecture was part of commemorations of World Press Freedom Day which falls on May 3 annually.

“We must work with new players in the game instead of trying to outcompete them. We need win-win partnerships with technology firms and start-ups. We need to change at the same pace with advertisers and accommodate citizen journalists into our space,” Kahiya said in his presentation titled The Future of Zimbabwean Media in the Disruptive Digital Age.

He said although he shared the same dream espoused by Chakaodza in one of his columns in the weekly Financial Gazette for a free media “where we will not have words such as repressive media environment and draconian media laws on our lips”, such words were unfortunately still in existence.

“Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, those words are not disappearing fast. The environment is far from the perfect nirvana that Bornwell dreamt of.

We meet as journalists today under a cloud following the alleged abduction and disappearance of Itai Dzamara. He has been missing since March 9 and his disappearance is another dark stain on Zimbabwe’s media canvas. We will continue to pray for his safe return to his family.”

Kahiya was making reference to the abduction of the journalist-cum-human rights activist by suspected State security agents and who is yet to be found.
Kahiya said media practitioners should, however, not relent in the fight for media freedom.