Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister, Kindness Paradza has warned journalists against soliciting bribes.
Paradza was responding to Institute for Public Relations and Communication Zimbabwe (IPRCZ) Acting Executive Director, Proctor Nyemba, during the IPRCZ inaugural conference at Troutbeck Resort in Nyanga on Monday.
Nyemba had alleged that reporters were demanding bribes from public relations practitioners to cover up for stories that have a negative impact on their organisations. In response, Paradza said:
We are aware of these vices and we are doing all that we can to instil discipline in the media industry.
This is the reason why we are crafting the Zimbabwe Media Practitioners Bill so that we address issues related to ethics in the profession.
We are aware that standards of journalism in this country have deteriorated to levels one can hardly imagine.
On the other hand, we encourage you as public relations practitioners not to pay them.
Do not pay them bribes. If possible set traps so that culprits can be exposed.
The situation has been worsened by freelancers around even though we know there are editors and reporters in the mainstream media who are also demanding bribes.
The three-day IPRCZ conference is a professional refresher get-together of public relations practitioners from different companies.