Zimbabwean online content creators (ZOCC), Bloggers Allaince of Zimbabwe (BLAZE) and other independent players who mass communicate using the internet convened to come up with a code of conduct which was drafted and moderated by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ).
The draft which has been under review for a long time had to be finalised to help online players to self regulate and form their own association specifically to collaborate, capacitate, network, create revenue and help them have a sense of belonging and recognition to drive their various brands.
By Marvelous Chibagidi
Some of the issues discussed were to merge the existing associations Blaze and ZOCC to create a national association that represents various online content creators and will work with the VMCZ to address various issues as a way forward.
The workshop was mainly meant to formalise the activities of online content creators for credibility and create a code of conduct that directs and drives ethical publishing.
Addressing bloggers and online content creators, VMCZ Facilitator Takura Zhangazha said that the move was long overdue to create an Association for the digital space and officially formalise it with a code of conduct.
“‘We need a code of conduct that promotes credibility and responsibility,The associations that are represented here should work together to create one voice as agreed per vote and quickly move in to formalise for due recognition. ” he said.
Bloggers from different organisations and the Bloggers Association Of Zimbabwe and The Zimbabwe Online Content Creation converged to get an overview of existing initiatives and consolidating and establishing synergies.
Representing the Blaze, Munya Bloggo said there was need for collaboration and advocated that all players find each other fort he
Another issue that was raised at the workshop was that bloggers should actually be taught on how to ‘monetise’ their blogs so as to put food on their table through pursuing their passion of content creation.
Representing Pindula, William Chui urged bloggers to be driven by passion rather than money.
“Online content creators should not mainly focus on the money because money follows passion,” he said.
It was quite an insightful workshop as the bloggers aired their views and certain things that they would actually want and worked on reviewing the updated digital media code of conduct and also operationalizing.
This digital media code of conduct includes ethics of accuracy, fairness, invasion and respecting of people’s privacy, plagiarism, correction of inaccuracy or distortion, right of reply, comment, hatred or violence, victims or crime among many other.
The attendants of the workshop mentioned they wanted security, belonging, transparency, networking, money, capacitation, collaboration, recognition and empowerment as some of the objectives they want incorporated in the code.
People should desist from painting the bloggers as black as all they want is to get the word out there. However, quite a number of bloggers in Zimbabwe are very unprofessional in their conduct thus tarnishing the image of the whole industry.