THE Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) yesterday launched an investigative journalism fund aimed at promoting quality, public interest and in-depth reporting in the country.
by STAFF REPORTER
Under the one-year programme, journalists will be trained on new investigative techniques and attached to senior as well as retired journalists for mentorship.
Speaking at the launch, VMCZ executive director, Loughty Dube said the initiative was aimed at capacitating journalists to enable them to report in-depth on issues of public interest.
“The fund is a pilot project that we hope will chart the way forward towards a broader training programme for journalists,” he said.
As part of the fund, an Investigative Journalist Award will be presented to the overall best journalist in the category, with another award for the first and second runners-up.
“While the media in Zimbabwe has been operating under difficult conditions characterised by shrinking budgets and newsrooms, the VMCZ hopes that this initiative will equip journalists with requisite skills and resources to effectively play their watchdog role,” Dube said.
VMCZ programmes officer, Faith Ndlovu said the investigative journalism fund had come against a backdrop of the need for quality journalism in Zimbabwe.
“While we acknowledge the challenges faced by media professionals, not only in Zimbabwe, but around the world, quality journalism is critical to the survival and sustainability of the media,” she said.
VMCZ board vice-chairperson, Cris Chinaka said it was important for journalists to dig deeper and come up with in-depth stories that benefited societies and exposed social, political and economic ills afflicting society.
Chinaka said the stories published should speak to challenges faced by ordinary Zimbabweans on a daily basis.