Home » General » We’re Helping United Polarised Media – Nyarota

VETERAN journalist and chairman of the Information Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI), Geoff Nyarota last week, said they were engaged in an attempt to unite the country’s once polarised media.

Nyarota was speaking at a two-day media gathering organised by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) at the Mazvikadei Resort in Banket.

His comments come in the wake of recent vitriolic attacks on IMPI, which was set up by Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, with legislators saying the panel was a waste of public funds.

In remarks seen as an attempt to ward off such criticism Nyarota said the body was making headway in bridging gaps and uniting a polarised media.

“While IMPI is undertaking the mammoth task of assessing and inquiring into the current status of the media in Zimbabwe, as a prelude to the compilation of a report and the drafting of recommendations to be presented to the Ministry of Information on the way forward, it also finds itself involved or engaged in bridging gaps and in breaking barriers within a polarised media,” Nyarota said.

Zimbabwe’s media is split sharply along ownership lines with the State-controlled newspapers and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) backing the Zanu PF government while the private media is seen as rabidly backing the opposition.

President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on a vicious campaign against journalists working for private media at the turn of the century. At least four private newspapers including the country’s biggest daily, The Daily News, were shut down.

MAZ director, Patience Zirima, said they had invited IMPI to allow the group to gather the views of media aocacy organisations before rounding up their programme.

“We were very keen to get media stakeholders, especially aocacy groups that had worked for many years to have a more democratic media landscape in the country, to meet with IMPI and make sure that whatever they have is consolidated and gets to IMPI,” Zirima said.

“We have a lot of issues that we work around on such as media law that have a direct link to professionalism.

“I think it was also of benefit to IMPI to have an understanding of who are the media stakeholders, what is there on the ground and how do they come in to promote media diversity, professionalism and to create a more democratic media sector in Zimbabwe,” she said.

More than five media lobby groups attended the meeting which ended Tuesday.

Source : New Zimbabwe