Members of Parliament have urged local journalists to exercise professionalism in their reportage for the purposes of nation-building.
Speaking during a media workshop on access to information held in the capital on Tuesday, Honorable Tendai Nyabani MP for Rushinga said journalists should at all times avoid misleading the public when reporting.
“You should not publish negatively only. I have a case from my constituency where ZINARA pledged money to fix the roads and buy fuel in my constituency. But when journalists report they say funds were misused and they look at stories with a sly view,” he said.
Nyabani added that journalists should report with a developmental and patriotic view urging them to t on the ground not reporting based on rumors.
The journalists had also time to air their grievances to the lawmakers.
They bemoaned the issue of security, freedom of expression, poor public relations from sources of Information among other challenges local journalists are facing.
Ever since the new dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa came in the media was granted freedom to cover any article without fear.
However, journalists that attended a workshop on Tuesday expressed the difficulties in working with some of the public institutions and individuals.
A Masvingo journalist said: “Our headquarters is in Masvingo and for example, if the Masvingo city council has information that is on the negative side you will automatically become their enemy, you may try to do your story but they will ask you to send an email when making a follow up they then act as if they didn’t receive it and this is perishable news but valid to the reader so you end up just writing according to what you have.’’
Another journalist from Masvingo also added, ‘’Sometimes the organizations and individuals involved ask for questions in writing on email especially for private media. The questions are answered on public-owned government media firms and it cools down the story you had. The quality of information determines the type of story but stories end up half baked as it is difficult to get comments. Parliament should push for parastatals to have timely information.”
Honorable Kindness Paradza who’s the chairman for the parliamentary committee responsible for media has assured the members of the media fraternity that their freedom to operate freely is guaranteed.