Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) joins the progressive world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day, which is being held under the theme “Journalism under digital siege.”
The media plays a critical role in the advancement of our work as an organisation and they are critical partners in ensuring that our membership is kept up to date on developments happening throughout the country, be they community newspapers or radio stations, as well as the main media houses, radio, be they private or public. As such, we identify with the challenges that they may face as a sector, as this inevitably impacts on our work.
The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) on 2 May 2022 launched its report entitled “State of Press Freedom in Southern Africa 2021-22” which chronicled the numerous threats journalists in the region face on a daily basis, with worrying reports of harassment in Mozambique owing to the ongoing armed conflict, Lesotho was also cause for concern with rising reports of arbitrary arrests and intimidation, repressive media laws and surveillance in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. Progress was noted in Zambia and Tanzania, with Namibia being singled out as the beacon of hope for press freedom in the region. The plight of female journalists was also highlighted, as they were subjected to cyber bullying in the course of their work, during the period under review.
As an organisation that is involved in advocacy work with regards development and self-help initiatives, VISET is proud to be associated with all media practitioners and agencies and is heartened by the growing media space in Zimbabwe through granting of broadcasting licenses to private players and community radio stations as this gives room for plurality of views, thereby guiding development initiatives and aiding policy formulation as well as resource allocation by government.
“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forego.”- Mahatma Gandhi