With the World Press Freedom Day set for May 3rd, there is concern over the poor working environment of journalists in Zimbabwe.
Speaking ahead of the World Freedom Day Commemorations, Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (ZINEF) coordinator Njabulo Ncube called for the safety of journalists to be guaranteed. Said Ncube:
The net effect of this poor working environment has been unprofessional media conduct, corruption and shrinking space for critical and public service journalism.
While there have been quantitative improvements, particularly on the number of print, online publications and radio stations operating in the country, there is evident lack of diversity in terms of the content and ownership.
This sad state of affairs within the country’s media industry is reflected in all local, regional and global election observer mission reports, which highlight how the Zimbabwean media had glaring challenges in their reportage of the 2018 elections.
The safety of journalists must be guaranteed and respect by both state and non-state actors.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.