Media toothless watchdog under Mugabe

The media in Zimbabwe is polarised, with the government controlling the majority of newspapers, all the radio stations and the only television station in the country.

The media in Zimbabwe is polarised, with the government controlling the majority of newspapers, all the radio stations and the only television station in the country.

Zimbabweans have only one independent daily newspaper, which is not so independent because it is run by well-known state security agents who were exposed in what has come to be known as the Mediagate scandal.

I am talking of the Daily Mirror, published by the Zimbabwe Mirror Newspapers Group which also publishes a weekly, The Sunday Mirror.

The Zimbabwean government appears to not understand the role of the media. Everyday we hear about kidnapped journalists, assaulted journalists and even murdered ones.

As a journalist in Zimbabwe, one must be prepared to be arrested at any time. One cannot claim to be a protected journalist unless one is working in cahoots with the state.

The Zimbabwean police must come to South Africa to study media ethics and then perhaps their violent action against journalists will stop.

The fear of being arrested has immobilised many journalists. But that should not be an excuse for not following the ethics of the profession.

The Zimbabwean regime needs to understand that Zimbabwean journalists are professional and objective in their reporting.

The media and the state should be friendly, not intimate.

Thompson Makhubela,

Braamfontein

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