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Radio VOP director scoops press freedom award
July 01, 2013

John Masuku, the executive director with Radio Voice of the People (VoP) is the winner of MISA- Zimbabwe’s Press Freedom Award for 2013.

The award was presented at MISA-Zimbabwe’s annual general meeting held in Bulawayo on 29 June 2013.

The award is presented in honor and recognition of an individual or institution that would have played a significant role in the defence and promotion of media freedom, freedom of expression and the right to access to information.

Commitment in the defence and promotion of media freedom is demonstrated through media reportage, opinion pieces or lobby work for media reforms in Zimbabwe. Individuals or institutions that demonstrate journalism excellence in their pursuit of the truth through professional and ethical reportage, are also eligible for nomination.

Excellence in journalism is determined through the upholding of ethics of the profession at all costs as well as relentless pursuit of truth behind the bare facts.

Other nominees included ZiFM’s Supa Mandiwanzira, veteran broadcast journalist Tapfuma Machakaire, and Masvingo-based freelance journalist Golden Maunganidze.

Presenting the award, MISA-Zimbabwe Trustee Chris Chinaka, noted Masuku’s immense contribution in raising the professional standards of journalism through lecturing, mentorship and gender mainstreaming in the media.

“He (Masuku) seemed shy and surprised that anyone had noted his work,” said Chinaka.

On receiving the award Masuku said he was excited and humbled as he did not expect to receive anything for his work.

“When we do our work we do not expect to receive any award. I am very excited and humbled to receive the MISA Press Freedom award,” he said.

Masuku was cited for the award for continuing to weather the storm in his quest for a diversified broadcasting sector in Zimbabwe despite being vilified for operating what the authorities refer to as a ‘pirate radio station’.

Together with his board members, John has been incarcerated for operating Radio VOP without a licence in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act.

He has nonetheless soldiered on providing alternative voices and views on Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and political dynamics.

Masuku has thus been a vital cog in lobbying for media reforms in Zimbabwe.

Visit the MISA-Zimbabwe fact sheet

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