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Journalism educators challenged to create safe environment for students

Story by Mercy Bofu-Matinha

THE Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services has challenged journalism educators to create a safe environment for students at learning institutions to shape their future behaviour in the newsroom.

The official launch of the Zimbabwe Journalism Educators Network (ZIJEN) in Masvingo this Friday, saw the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana highlighting that the moulding of professional journalists should start at learning institutions.

“Today we are gathered to launch a network of journalism educators which we believe will ensure improved journalism standards and strengthen citizens’ information rights in the country. However we are also saying create a safe environment for your students, denounce issues of sexual harassment for marks such that we mould journalists who are morally upright and professional,” he said.

ZIJEN President Mr Golden Maunganidze said their organisation is committed to resourcing and supporting quality journalism education.

“Our organisation will be very critical in areas such as research, standardised curriculum, policy formulations, community service, innovation and industrialisation. From now onwards, we recommit ourselves to resourcing and supporting quality journalism education, and we believe that we can easily become a resource to all stakeholders in this room,” he said.

Journalism scholars and media stakeholders gave solidarity messages to ZIJEN.

“We expect ZIJEN to serve as a torch bearer in improving journalism standards and supporting media innovation,” said Great Zimbabwe Univesity Vice Chancellor, Professor Rungano Zvobgo.

ZBC News and Current Affairs Acting Head,  Ms Merit Munzwembiri said, “The national broadcaster stands ready to partner with ZIJEN in identifying gaps in the media sector and organizing training to ensure we come up with responsible, professional and ethical journalists.”

 “Let us unite in advocating for freedom of expression for all journalists,” said the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists President, George Maponga.

ZIJEN is an affiliate of the African Journalism Education Network (AJEN) which was launched last year in Kigali, Rwanda.

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