GWERU – Journalists in the country have been urged to promote peace, healing, and tolerance during this year’s harmonised elections.
Speaking during an election and peace reporting workshop Zimbabwe Human Rights Non-Governmental Organisation Forum programs coordinator Wilbert Mandinde said while journalists consider their safety first while reporting, it was important to also think about the safety of the public.
“We want a media that promotes peace and not to be catalysts for despondency and violence.
“As we go towards this year’s elections, we want peaceful elections and the media should not create a warzone,” he said.
Mandinde said the media should inculcate a culture of responsible reporting.
The legal practitioner who has represented journalists in a number of cases said the media should shun politicians who promote war and hatred.
“We should not use the pen to destroy, but to build,” he said.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum communication specialist Everson Mushava also added that the media plays a pivotal role during elections as it influences perceptions of candidates as well as voting patterns.
“Media should report in a way that enables the electorate to make informed decisions. It is regrettable that some sections of the media have agreed to be polarised by politicians.
“The media should play its role in election reporting by representing the views of everyone fairly, honestly, and factually. The media should make a deliberate effort to heal the society,” he said.