US embassy supports Zim journalism programme

“The US constitution like the constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees press freedom and freedom of expression.

UNITED States embassy officials last week pledged continued support to sustaining professional journalism in Zimbabwe.“The US places freedom of the press among its top priorities,” said Benjamin Pearce, acting deputy chief of mission at the United States embassy.

“The US constitution like the constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees press freedom and freedom of expression. “Our support complements the efforts of organisations such as Internews and its partners as well as the Zimbabwe Centre for Media and Information Literacy (ZCMIL) to build skills of journalists to report accurately, tackle disinformation, maintain professionalism as well as maintain professional standards of journalism, continue to lobby for safe and free environment for journalists.”

ZCMIL is implementing an Innovate 360 programme for 12 mid-career newsroom managers to help them with skills to sustain their operations.The hybrid programme has in-person components and virtual sessions connecting participants with speakers from the United States and the region.

Participating journalists include several online media outlets as well as community media and are expected to complete capstone projects using case studies from their media houses with innovative concepts in audience engagement, revenue growth, product development, and strategic thinking.

Larry Socha, public affairs officer at the US embassy, said the programme was building on an earlier similar initiative by ZCMIL as well as many other initiatives by his government to sustain media in Zimbabwe.

Both public and private media have benefitted from the initiatives including exchange visits by Zimbabwean journalists to the United States, said Socha.Internews country manager Tawedzegwa Musitini hailed the support to the media by the United States embassy.

Musitini said the interventions include initiatives to increase the resilience of the media to threats caused by pandemics, climate change, natural disasters, dwindling revenue and the role of big tech companies vis-à-vis the quest for supporting and defending a resilient media.

Related Topics

Teacher unions adding salt to wound
By The Independent Aug. 26, 2022
Feature: Another strike looms
By The Independent Aug. 26, 2022
AfDB pledges to improve Zimbabwe infrastructure
By The Independent Aug. 26, 2022