Media in Zimbabwe commits to ethical election reporting

Media practitioners in Zimbabwe have pledged to uphold high standards of impartiality, credibility, and integrity in their coverage of the upcoming harmonised elections slated for August 23, 2023.

This was done through the signing of a pledge by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) “Harmonised Elections Media Code of Conduct Pledge 2023” in Bulawayo recently. 

“Elections are central to democracy. As journalists reporting on this critical process, we have a duty to provide accurate, reliable, and essential information that will empower voters and encourage public discussions and debates. We affirm that the media are critical to providing access to information, credible elections need professional and credible media and citizens need issues and debates to be clarified, not simply amplified,” reads the pledge. 

“We pledge to hold each other to high standards of impartiality, credibility and integrity, to be accountable to the public, put voters and the integrity of the electoral process at the centre of our reporting, focus on issues, not just on personalities. We will examine the track record and qualifications of candidates and political parties vying for public office and hold them accountable for the veracity and honesty of their statements and promises.” 

The pledge further stated that all electoral actors will be covered professionally, fairly and ethically. 

“We will stand in solidarity when any journalist or news organisation is harassed for their professional, ethical, and evidence-based journalism, ensure women media practitioners receive adequate, equal resources and protection as their male counterparts in the industry and ensure equal, fair and objective coverage of women electoral actors.” 

Through the pledge, the media practitioners and stakeholders further committed to challenge and correct statements and claims that have no basis in fact. Avoid highlighting or amplifying falsehoods, hate speech, and incitement to violence. 

“We shall focus on voter education, citizen participation, and empowerment, uphold codes of ethics and professional conduct and disclose potential conflicts of interest. We will also make a clear distinction between news and opinion. Should a media institution publish an inaccurate report, it must publish a correction, at the earliest possible opportunity, with comparable prominence,” the pledge stated.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button