THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe has urged political parties to ensure the safety of journalists during their campaign activities.
In a report titled Zimbabwe 2023 elections and beyond, media regulations journalism safety and security, Misa said political parties must prevent freedom violations that contribute to Zimbabwe’s low global media freedom rankings.
Misa also said journalists should strive to remain apolitical and impartial in the execution of their duties.
“Journalists should and without fail, always strive for balance and fairness in their reportage and stories. Media professionalism is the very first line of defence for journalists as it is at the heart of media credibility and integrity,” Misa added.
“The media should ensure fair and equitable representation of women contesting in elections to counter the perennial trend of male dominance in election reporting.”
Misa also called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)’s media monitoring committee to give updates on the way different media houses were covering the polls.
“Timely updates will go a long way in fostering professional coverage of the elections in a fair, balanced and accurate manner.”
“The Zimbabwe Media Practitioners Bill should be crafted and guided by the unequivocal resolutions and affirmations of stakeholders in line with the form and nature of the guiding principles for co-regulation.
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“Media stakeholders and the media ecosystem commit to a pledge to uphold the highest ethical standards during the election cycle and beyond.”
Four journalists were roughed up in Bulawayo early this week by Zanu PF activists who had descended on the city’s vegetable market harassing vendors for snubbing the ruling party’s rallies.