Free press a necessity for national development: Minister

By Yvonne Mkondani

THE Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa says government does not regard the existence of a free press as a luxury, but as a development necessity.

She was speaking during a webinar celebrating The Daily News’ 10TH Anniversary this Thursday morning.

The occasion marks the rebirth of the Daily News a decade ago after several years of inactivity.

In that regard Senator Mutsvangwa applauded The Daily News for reviving its brand and becoming a force to reckon with within the media landscape.

Business experts will tell you that reviving a brand after years of dormancy is not easy. For this reason, the Daily News deserves plaudits for the manner it has reclaimed its position on the country’s media landscape in the context of the fast-evolving media landscape, she said.

Members of the fourth estate were challenged to be patriotic and embrace developmental journalism seeing that they are Zimbabweans first before anything else.

Ladies and gentlemen allow me to challenge members of the Fourth Estate, to understand that you are at the core of Zimbabwe’s development, because first of all you are Zimbabweans

In Zimbabwe, media has an important role in advancing a pro-poor development agenda, as well as supporting economic growth by stimulating consumer markets and fostering national unity, she said.

Turning to the use of ICTs in media practice, Senator Mutsvangwa highlighted that digital facilities should be a tool for national unity and cohesion.

Further, social media should be harnessed towards the development of the country, and not to sow seeds of division and fissures within our society.

The media should shine the light on the two five-year development programmes, NDS1 running from 2021 to 2025 and NDS2 which will run from 2026 to 2030, she noted.

Government interventions to date have freed the airwaves as the Second Republic implemented a raft of political, economic and social reforms to make Zimbabwe an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Since 1956, Zimbabwe had only one television station but upon assuming office in 2018, the second republic has led to the licensing of more players in television.

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