ZMC delays the accreditation of journalists due to the coronavirus

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ZMC delays the accreditation of journalists due to the coronavirus

All stakeholders are being informed that the Zimbabwe Media Commission has not yet issued Accreditation Cards for journalists and other media practitioners for the year 2020.

This has been caused by the delay in the gazetting of accreditation and registration fees.

Fees for the accreditation of journalists were published in the Government Gazette of 27 March 2020. The Commission had planned to start issuing journalists and other media practitioners with accreditation cards starting 1 April 2020.

This has been suspended owing to the national lockdown which is in place.

Journalists are advised to continue using their 2019 accreditation cards. All stakeholders are being advised to accept and recognise journalists using 2019 accreditation cards.

The Commission calls upon the security sector to protect and ensure the safety of journalists during this period as their work is greatly needed in the fight against the coronavirus.

The role of information during the fight against Covid-19 cannot be overemphasised. It is in this regard that the media in its entirety is seen as a critical component in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

It is the media which is carrying the information about the virus to the entire Zimbabwean population. The Commission would like to applaud the media for the role it has thus far played in educating and informing the Zimbabwean people about Covid-19.

This notwithstanding, the Commission has noted that most of the information being channelled and the platforms being utilised are mostly aimed at the urban population leaving out rural and farming communities who constitute the majority of Zimbabweans.

The strategies being carried by the media seem mostly to cater for the urban population. There is need for the authorities to come up with strategies to fight the virus for the rural population who might not have access to sanitizers, gloves, face masks etc. Most of the rural population do not have access to mainstream media.

The Commission has noted some high levels of disinformation being spread through some social media platforms. The Commission calls upon Zimbabweans to be responsible and considerate when posting something on social media.

Media is a powerful tool in propagating any viewpoint and this power should come with the appropriate measure of responsibility. The Commission calls upon Zimbabweans to verify what they can read and download from some social media platforms. To fight Ciovid-19, Zimbabweans are being encouraged to source for information from platforms that are credible.

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