ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) chairman Trevor Ncube yesterday described the media house as a patriotic stakeholder in the country, with a duty to help the country realise its long-awaited prosperity.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
AMH are the publishers of NewsDay, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent.
Ncube met Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, her deputy Energy Mutodi and the ministry’s permanent secretary
Ndavaningi “Nick” Mangwana yesterday to iron out differences after a public spat that included rogue Zanu PF supporters burning copies of the daily NewsDay and the weekly Zimbabwe Independent in the streets of Harare last week.
Relations seemed to have nosedived after Mutodi suggested on microblogging platform Twitter that AMH had taken a negative attitude towards government by increasing the cover prices of its three titles.
Ncube described the meeting as fruitful.
“We are a mainstream media house that is patriotic and passionate about its country, and we are going to play our role in the reconstruction and development of this nation,” he said.
Ncube said as a media house, AMH was ready to play its part in rebuilding the sector and creating more jobs for journalists.
He said he despised having his company labelled an opposition media house, but would want to play a part in helping the country realise its full potential, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa has consistently said.
“I think the bottom line is that we all have one country to serve and that country is Zimbabwe. We might differ on the pace at which things are going, but generally speaking, we are agreed on the direction and destination where we are all going,” he said.
“We want to go to a place where there is prosperity for everybody, as the President says.”
In a statement, the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry said it would continue to engage stakeholders to formulate media policy that is consistent with the new dispensation.
The ministry said it believed in media plurality.
“That means embracing everyone, including those who we agree with and those we may not agree with. The idea is not to have a pliant media, but a media that is robust and vibrant (and) in its different ways serving the national interest,” the statement read.
“This ministry in not going to have an ‘Us versus Them’ attitude, but will treat all players as relevant Fourth Estate supporting our mantra of Zimbabwe is open for business in their different ways.
“We are opening the media space and the airwaves for Zimbabwe’s plural views to find channels of outlet. This ministry is going to have an open-door policy. As long as your ideas add value to the national interest, everyone will be seen and be heard.”
The statement added: “Every Zimbabwean wants the information industry to develop standards that make output trusted and genuine. In the advent of fake news, our formal media platforms and publications should be the source of verifiable facts. We hope these high standards of quality will be sustained.
“Let the media criticise where wrong has happened and let them lead in the celebrations of national culture and national achievements. The ministry wants dynamism in the promotion of people’s rights as well as national sovereignty.”