Media managers graduate

Fatima Bulla Herald Reporter
Middle level female media managers from various media houses, including Zimpapers, yesterday graduated with certificates in Media Management from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. The journalists — who included The Herald’s managing editor Victoria Ruzvidzo, deputy news editor Phyllis Kachere, The Sunday Mail Religious Affairs editor Fatima Bulla and creative editor Monica Cheru-Mpambawashe were presented with certificates at a local hotel after going through six months of training under the Women in News (WIN) project.

The Independent’s deputy editor Faith Zaba and NewsDay chief sub-editor Yvonne Gasura also received their certificates.

The programme, which is run in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, is supported by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, a global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers.

WAN-IFRA represents more than 18 000 publications, 15 000 online sites and over 3 000 companies in more than 120 countries.

The journalists went through over 100 hours of training facilitated by Fray Intermedia and Wits University, covering 43 modules related to principles of media management.

Speaking at the graduation, Zimpapers group editorial executive Mr William Chikoto said the training was crucial to prepare female journalists for leadership and management roles.

“I think our experience is that most journalists excel as journalists and when they do that, they are then promoted to management positions,” he said.

“But quite often, they are not prepared for those positions.

“They have done well as reporters or photographers, all of a sudden they find themselves with responsibilities and they do not quite know what to do next. With programmes like this one, at least we know that those who have moved into those positions are getting the necessary training and support.

“Moreso, women in news tend to be very low in confidence given the experiences that they have in newsrooms, most of them are battered. They have suffered all sorts of things. When you put them into a position of leadership, they are not very confident.”

Mr Chikoto said because of such unfortunate circumstances, the women were often open to criticism when they make mistakes and they really go down in confidence.

Africa Director for the Wan-IFRA WIN project, Dr Tikala Chibwana, said the programme was inspired by the background that there were fewer women in the middle and higher management levels in the media.

“Looking at the careers of women who have gone through this programme, the objective is being fulfilled,” she said.

The manager for WIN in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Rwanda and Zambia, Ms Molly Chimhanda said WAN-IFRA had a human rights mandate to defend and promote media freedom, as well as to ensure economic independence of news media as an essential condition of that freedom.

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