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This article participates on the following special index pages:
New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
on media conduct during referendum and pending harmonized elections
Media Council of Zimbabwe
March 14, 2013
Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) would like to advise and remind
members of the public, civil society organizations, and political
party candidates of the importance of freedom of expression, media
freedom and access to information during elections and electoral
periods. This more importantly during
the referendum to be held on Saturday 16 March as well as for
the electoral campaigning period that follows almost immediately
In pursuance of our mandate, the VMCZ further wishes to inform members
of the public, civil society and aspiring politicians that the media
abides by professional standards and ethics as captured in the Media
Code of Conduct. For the purposes of the electoral period, the media
while guided by the entirety of the Media Code of Conduct will also
have its professionalism measured by its adherence to Sections 10
and 11 of the same which are as quoted below.
The VMCZ Media complaints committee will be on hand to hear and
adjudicate complaints in as timely and reasonable a manner as possible
in the spirit and with the intention of promoting media professionalism
and public accountability during the electoral period without preferring
criminal charges or arrests against journalists.
Section 10 of the Media Code of Conduct
Hatred or Violence
a) Media Practitioners and media institutions must not publish material
that is intended or is likely to engender hostility or hatred towards
persons on the grounds of their race, ethnic origin, nationality,
gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, religion or political
b) Media Institutions must take utmost care to avoid contributing
to the spread of ethnic hatred or political violence.
Section 11 of the Media Code of Conduct
Reporting of Elections
a) Media practitioners and the media institutions must report on
elections in a fair and balanced manner.
b) Before reporting a damaging allegations made against a candidate
or a political party, a media practitioner should obtain, wherever
possible, a comment from the candidate or party against whom the
allegation has been made especially where the allegation has been
made by an opposing candidate or an opposing political party.
c) A media
practitioner or media institution must not accept any gift, reward
or inducement from a politician or candidate.
d) As far as possible, a media practitioner or media institution
should report the views of candidates and political parties directly
and in their own words, rather than as they are described by others.
e) A journalist must take care in reporting the findings of the
opinion polls. Any report should wherever possible include details
about the methodology used in conducting the survey and by whom
it is conducted.
Section 11 of the VMCZ code of conduct deals specifically with the
election period and has guidelines on how the media should report
The VMCZ receives, mediates and adjudicates complaints by individuals
and organisations against the media.
The VMCZ Media Complaints Committee will during this period deal
timeously with media complaints that arise during that period.
*VMCZ endeavours to create an environment that promotes a professional
and ethical media that promotes professional and ethical media that
contributes towards a more democratic and just society.
the VMCZ fact
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