ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) journalists came out tops at the 2017 National Journalistic and Media Awards (Njama) on Wednesday night, bagging five accolades in various categories at the annual event.
BY STAFF REPORTER
AMH is the biggest private media organisation in the country and publishes, NewsDay, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent.
Business reporter Tatira Zwinoira scooped the Business Journalist of the Year sponsored by Schweppes Zimbabwe, while Senior parliamentary reporter Veneranda Langa scooped the Legal and Parliamentary Journalist of the Year award sponsored by Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners.
Mashonaland West correspondent Nhau Mangirazi scooped the Child Journalist of the Year accolade sponsored by the United Nations Children’ Fund, while Mashonaland East correspondent Jairos Saunyama took home the ICT Print Journalist of the Year sponsored by Econet.
Problem Masau scooped the Partnering for Sustainable Development Journalist of the Year award, which was sponsored by the World Food Programme.
Speaking at the award, Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary-general Foster Dongozi called for an end to harassment of journalists by law enforcement agents and politicians as they perform their duties.
Dongozi said for the past two years, many journalists have been harassed, beaten up and even arrested while executing their duties.
“These days, the violence on journalists is even serious in that law enforcement agents are even throttling journalists, and beating them up, especially those covering civil unrest and political gatherings,” he said.
“The former Minister of Media and Information, Christopher Mushowe, in response to the assaults on journalists, even suggested that while performing their duties, journalists must have a uniform attire which can make them distinguishable from the crowd so that they are not harassed.”
UN resident co-ordinator Bishow Parajuli said it was pivotal for journalists to cover and promote sustainable development, as it has an impact on social, economic and environmental issues.
“The 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) aim to encourage countries to end poverty, hunger and boost shared prosperity in a sustainable manner,” he said.
“Media outlets and journalists can contribute greatly to the attainment of SDGs by building public awareness, setting the agenda and engaging government, Parliament, the Judiciary and sub-national stakeholders such as academia, researchers, statistics agencies, non-governmental organisations, private sectors, as well as communities and individuals at grassroots level.”
Parajuli said the media should report objectively and accurately on policy implementation.
He said the media should expose social and economic issues that derail progress such as corruption, illicit capital flight, gender inequality, violence and abuse.
The UN resident co-ordinator also challenged the media to set the agenda in the public space to adhere to the rule of law, and promotion of justice and peace at all levels in the country which are key enablers of achievement of SDGs.