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Media owners form union

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BY STAFF REPORTER

ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) chief operating officer Kangai Mukuazuva has been elected committee member of the interim steering committee of the newly-formed Media Owners Association of Zimbabwe to address issues affecting local media houses.

AMH are the publishers of Zimbabwe’s largest independent daily, NewsDay and weeklies Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard, and also operates Heart & Soul Broadcasting Services (Pvt) Ltd.

The committee is chaired by Zimpapers chief executive Pikirayi Deketeke, who will be deputised by Jasper Maphosa of Risper Media.

Other members of the committee are CANAZ co-ordinator Maggie Mzumara and Susan Makore of AB Communications.

Publishers at the same meeting resolved to support media co-regulation as part of efforts to promote democratic media regulation in Zimbabwe.

The meeting was organised by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) to reflect on the state of ethics and professionalism and the media law reform process.

The publishers felt that co-regulation was the best form of regulation for Zimbabwe as it encompassed elements of both statutory and self-regulation.

The Mirror consultant Matthew Takaona said as publishers, they supported the VMCZ and media industry’s call for co-regulation and that they will advocate for inclusion of co-regulation in the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) Bill.

“As publishers, we fully support co-regulation and we urge the VMCZ to strengthen its processes and continue to lobby for co-regulation in the ZMC Bill. As publishers, we are in total support of co-regulation,” Takaona said.

VMCZ board member and member of the Media Complaints Committee (MCC), Cris Chinaka, reiterated the organisation’s openness to engagement on its structures, processes and systems.

Another member of the MCC, Precious Chakasikwa, said complaints received by the committee showed that journalists continued to miss the basics of journalism such as accuracy, fairness and balance as well as sensitive coverage of minors.

She said the 83% compliance rate with the MCC demonstrates the robustness of the mechanism, but that the industry itself also needed to come to the party by enforcing standards in newsrooms with as much energy as they pursued “sensational headlines and the bottom line”.

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