Story by Peter Chivhima
The Media has been identified as a vital cog in the justice delivery system that links the public and the judiciary.
In recognition of the crucial role of the media, the Law Society of Zimbabwe hosted a media training meant to capacitate court reporters this Friday.
The workshop sought to equip journalists with knowledge of the processes, procedures and diction used in courts.
A journalist, Nyasha Dube, told the ZBC News, “This engagement was an eye opener for me because i have been capacitated on how to write court stories and other issues that we may have forgotten. This will protect us from law suits.”
“I have learnt a lot today, especially on how to write stories which are balanced. This will also help in the justice delivery system because we understand what we write has a bearing to the justice delivery system in the country,” noted another journalist, Trevor Mutsvairo.
Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe Trustee Kelvin Jakachira and Law Society of Zimbabwe president Mrs Rumbidzai Matambo are convinced that the engagement will limit the number of lawsuits faced by journalists.
“We believe that the media is a key enabler to the delivery of justice, and this begins with factual reporting. Factual reporting in our considered view has its roots in knowledge of the processes, procedures and diction used in our courts. This way we assist the media in limiting and or avoiding pitfalls such as lawsuits that journalist may find themselves embroiled in,” Jakachira said.
“This training is an extension of our corporate social responsibility programming in that we think once journalists are trained the public will benefit. This is to give effect to our statutory mandate to regulate in the public interest while at the same time protecting the interests of our members. There have been a number of complaints from our members on how some cases have been reported which may fuel certain negative perception,” noted Mrs Matambo.
The engagement was also attended by representatives from various stakeholders in the media fraternity who concurred on the need for continued capacitation trainings.