INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere, has challenged local media industry to tell the common man’s story as part of fulfillment of a two-way process between the country’s Central Authority and its citizenry.
Minister Muswere made these remarks while delivering his keynote address during the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Ministry’s strategic and planning review workshop in Vumba this week.
The theme of the workshop is: “Re-engineering information, publicity and broadcasting services to facilitate a two-way communication strategy”.
Minister Muswere said: “A strategy, to my understanding, is a coordinated programme of action which clearly identifies duties, responsibilities and tasks that are supposed to be achieved in a given time frame by utilising technology and human resources within the legal framework of the country.
“As a ministry, with all its departments and parastatals, we have a clear-cut mandate and that entails the encoding and decoding of information from the citizens to the authorities, and authorities to citizens. We need to hear that feedback from the people.
“Perceptions of locals towards a certain project are crucial for development. How a certain community views a certain project in their area needs to be heard. This is the way to fulfill the two-way communication model that we want.”
The Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, urged the local media industry to shape the narrative instead of being reactive when it comes to the Zimbabwe story.
“The media industry has been reactive when it comes to issues that are said about Zimbabwe. We need to set the agenda and tell the story on Brand Zimbabwe. How do we strategise around that?
“We need to set the national narrative as an industry. If a person is outside the country and thinks of Zimbabwe, what comes to their mind? When we travel to some Western countries, what we see and we hear in their reportage is totally different. Everything else, be it companies or countries, it is about branding,” said Minister Muswere.
Among the expected outputs of the workshop are reviewing the strategic planning, 2024 annual plan and the 2024 performance contracts.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Nick Mangwana, in his opening remarks for the workshop, said the mandate of his ministry, with the aid of stakeholders in the sector, is to develop and project a national view point, bridge the rural-urban, north-south information divide, articulate and promote Government policies and programmes.
“As we work on our annual plan this week, let us be guided by our mandate as a ministry. That is to develop policy and legal framework that promotes growth of a modern and vibrant information and broadcasting industry.
“Our mandate is to develop and project a national view point, bridge the rural-urban, north-south information divide, articulate and promote Government policies and programmes, facilitate a two-way communication between Government and citizenry, build a good image of the country, develop a diverse and plural media industry for Zimbabwe as well as celebrate Zimbabwe’s cultural achievements and values,” he said.