Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Government has called on the media to unite and put national issues ahead of individual interests for the benefit of their businesses and the economy. Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe said this when he toured ZiFM Stereo in Harare yesterday.
He said the media fraternity was important to Government because of its main duties of entertaining, educating and informing people, but could affect the economy by reporting negatively.
“The print media is still obsessed with negativity in some cases,” said Dr Mushohwe. “Sometimes you wonder whether they see the negative effects of their reportage.
“But I am happy we seem to be discovering each other and it is our hope that sooner or later we will all be singing from one page on issues of national interest. I am confident that we seem to be converging towards that position that isolate issue of national interest from personal or individual feelings.”
Dr Mushohwe said the nation was now used to the distinct dichotomy between private and public media, but Government did not entertain the notion.
“While we may differ on other subjects, we should never differ on national interests,” he said.
“We want to see and promote that convergence of understanding in us. Begin to believe that we are one. I cannot be a minister with bias towards who is mine and who is not mine.”
Dr Mushohwe warned the media against giving negative impressions about Zimbabwe.
“If we disseminate information that scares potential investors, we have no one to blame, but ourselves,” he said.
“Think about those who would have lost their jobs because of you, you will follow them too. I will make sure the ministry preaches against tendencies that destroy us.
“If you destroy opportunities for this country, you are also fixing yourself. You must be able to separate issues of national interest from negative activities that some people may engage themselves in.”
Dr Mushohwe applauded ZiFM for being an outstanding radio station that had interests of the young people at heart. He said the station was now the leader in the industry despite the short period it had been in business.
“ZiFM is not very old, yet it is right on the top of other radio broadcasters in this country,” said Dr Mushohwe.
“ZiFM is an outfit manned by dynamic young men and women and once you get associated with this outfit you will not listen to any other radio stations. This shows talents have been carefully selected and this is what we want to see. This station has set pace for others and I want others to realise that it can be done by our own young people.
“When we talk of indigenisation this is exactly what we want to see. We want to see indigenous young men and women take up the reigns and become real owners of means of production.”
Dr Mushohwe’s deputy Cde Thokozile Mathuthu said she was impressed that ZiFM had many women employees holding influential positions.
“I hope this will be the same with other media houses,” she said.
ZiFM chief executive officer Mrs Susan Makore said the organisation was well geared for digitisation.
“All the equipment we have is digital,” she said. “We also have an interest in television and we hope when the time comes we will apply for a licence.”