By Tatenda Mujeyi
The media were viewed as a major contributor to the potential development of electoral process as they stood central in availing information and coverage on the electoral cycle at a press discussion hosted by Zimbabwe Union of Journalist’s in Harare.
With the Journalist’s union having successfully elected a new executive, the meeting came as a inaugural interface between journalist’s and their ZUJ leadership which proved knowledgeable.
The meeting highlighted that Journalist’s were central to the elections as they were the main source of information for the general public.
“The media have a key role to play in terms of disseminating information on electoral processes before during and after the plebiscites as they remain the main source of information for the communities.” The ZUJ Secretary General Perfect Hlongwani Said.
Foregoing the editorial policies that saw some stories and angles published at the expense of others the media were called to go an extra mile in availing information for their consumers.
“While the editorial policies of different newspaper’s determine what they publish and what the won’t publish, it remains important that journalist’s go an mile and provide more information for both their communities and the candidates. For the candidates detailed information on community expectations is key so as to make sure they have a clear mandate while for the general public profiles on the candidates are important.” Precious Shumba the Harare Residents Trust Director said.
The media were also viewed as important in the process of unpacking the technical electoral processes and documents that at times were not easy for the general public.
“It is important to note that the media have an important role in unpacking the procedures and policy documents related to electoral processes as at times the general public is incapable to comprehend the detail as offered through legal institutions.” Thabani Dune the ZUJ Treasurer said.
With Zimbabwe expected to go for the general elections next year morale on electoral issues is high with calls for a free and fair election hightened.