Home » General » Journalism Trainer Laments Quality of Graduates

A LOCAL media trainer, Peter Mandava, says the mass recruitment of journalism students in colleges and universities is compromising the quality of graduates.

Mandava, who is a journalism lecturer at the Midlands State University, was addressing a meeting called by the Information Media Panel of Inquiry at the Mazvikadei resort last week.

The meeting was meant to hear the views of journalism trainers and other industry players.

“One of the challenges which is facing training institutions is that of ever rising enrollment figures and it has been an area of concern by various stakeholders,” Mandava said.

“How many people are you enrolling? You are enrolling twice a year, where do you think they will be employed? Are you not being mercenaries?,” Mandava, who is also an official with the Journalists and Media Trainers Association of Zimbabwe, said.

He said the mass recruitment of journalism students was resulting in these institutions churning out half-baked professionals who were not ready for the industry.

Mandava said the mass recruitment appears to be a “survival strategy” that allows these colleges and universities to raise funds.

“Figures are always rising because of these things called parallel learning and so forth. It then goes into eating into the ideals of quality training and quality products. Even the teaching space may not be enough and that becomes another headache,” Mandava said.

To address these challenges, Mandava said there was need for the media sector to lobby for the creation of a media self-regulatory body that protects the interests of journalists.

“This is what IMPI should take to government. If you look at the Faculty of Law it has no problem of ever-rising enrolment figures and this is largely because of the power of the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

“That is where the point is the Law Society of Zimbabwe is so powerful that no other institution would ever dare pick a parallel programme with it – if you do, you do so at your own peril.

“What does this mean to the custodians of the media industry – you and I – who are here? I think the solution to the ever rising figures which then goes to eat into quality can only be solved by persuading the government to recognise a self-regulatory body so that it is empowered in the manner the Law Society is so that we have order, especially in the training institutions,” Mandava said.

Source : New Zimbabwe