The Herald (Harare)

28 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Media Urged to Disseminate Accurate Information

The media has been urged to disseminate accurate information to minimise cases of conflict among citizens.

The call was made by Media, Information and Publicity permanent secretary Mr George Charamba in an interview at a two-day conflict reporting workshop for editors that ended in Nyanga yesterday.

"The media must disseminate quality information to tone down tempers and avoid conflict," he said.

"They have a big national responsibility to build, make and create peace. They must also recognise their responsibility as purveyors of balanced information."

Mr Charamba said people would make appropriate responses to situations if they were well informed. He said the media was a key component of nation building.

"The obligation to develop the country comes first for the media," said Mr Charamba.

"Those who work in information dissemination should be respectable and know that the pen can destroy or build. They must know that information builds and helps people to have success."

Addressing the editors, Mr Charamba said they should respect national interests and national values.

He said the media should espouse the common values among Zimbabweans.

"The media is operating in a conflict ridden environment and the appeal is not to join in and not to worsen it," he said.

"National interest is a safer harbour for you to dock your journalism ship."

Mr Charamba said the national interest included territorial integrity and sovereignty.

He said the media should learn how to report on conflict in a sensitive manner to protect peace and national identity.

"You have your own way of making the nation," said Cde Charamba. "We should have a common vision that can define a nation."

The editors resolved to come up with a code of conduct with the help of the Zimbabwe Media Commission.

They noted that pursuing personal agendas was not helpful to nation building and a lot needed to be done to correct the situation.

The editors pledged to campaign for peace through the media and be accountable to the people.

The workshop was organised by the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.

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