It’s election season, folks.
Ask any sane and reasonable Zimbabwean whether they like ZBC TV when it’s time for news, or any other time really. Just do that. You will get interesting reactions.
State media in Zimbabwe is always appalling and nauseating. All coverage is given to the ruling party, ZANU-PF and when coverage is given to opposition parties, it is mostly in negative terms.
The MDC Alliance recently launched their manifesto which is being popularly referred to as the SMART Campaign, and people were surprised when ZBC TV covered the event live. It should be something that ZBC TV must always have done.
With the Zimbabwe 2018 elections fast approaching, the State media is still heavily biased towards ZANU-PF and against the opposition. ZBC TV, The Herald, The Chronicle, The Manica Post and other publications and radio stations under governmental control are very much biased towards ZANU-PF. It’s an unhealthy situation. Clearly, this creates a scenario where there is no fairness in this election.
The Constitution sets it out loud and clear that these guys are supposed to give equal coverage to all. But, it’s just a different story.
A new report by Media Monitors (MM) has shown that out of a total of 7 681 seconds which were dedicated to coverage of political actors on Zimbabwe Television, 87% was awarded to Zanu PF and only 12% to MDC- T (between February 11 to 24). Privately owned media gave space mostly to opposition politicians.
“Politicians from the ruling party were covered more in the government-controlled newspapers, whilst those from the opposition were featured more in the privately-owned press.” The report said that women received little coverage.
Parliamentary watchdog Veritas has petitioned the High Court seeking an order compel ing State media journalists to give equal coverage to all political players contesting in next month’s general elections.
In the application, Veritas, Valerie Ingram-Thorpe and Brian Desmond Crozier were cited as applicants, while the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), Zimbabwe Newspapers (Pvt) Ltd, (Zimpapers), Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) were cited as respondents.
It is now time for state media in Zimbabwe to improve on its reporting. Section 61 (4) of the Constitution must not be violated.
State media is sickening, really, but it must simply remove. The worry is that any reform they would do is for helping the Mnangagwa administration to gain some legitimacy.
State media is still very much problematic and heavily biased towards ZANU-PF.