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Opinion / Columnist

Our newspapers don't tell the whole ugly truth

06 Nov 2023 at 15:29hrs | Views
It's no secret that our newspapers often fail to present the whole truth, especially when it comes to the actions of the administration in power. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has truly paid attention to the media landscape in Zimbabwe. If you really want to know what's going on, you need to broaden your horizons and explore news sources from outside the country.

In today's interconnected world, we have access to a wealth of information thanks to communication technology. We can easily access news from around the globe, offering different perspectives and exposing us to a wider range of viewpoints. Yet, most of our local news outlets seem content with regurgitating government or corporate press releases as breaking news, without concerning themselves with whether these statements align with the facts.

Have you ever compared the news coverage from Zimbabwe with that of foreign press? If you haven't, you may be in for quite a shock. The differences in coverage and perspective are striking. While our local media outlets focus on mundane stories, product plugs, and human interest pieces, foreign news organizations dive deep into the heart of the issues, presenting a more comprehensive and nuanced picture.

When was the last time you watched local news and felt truly informed? Do you remember a recent segment that challenged the status quo, exposed corruption, or held the government accountable? Unfortunately, those moments are a rarity in our current media landscape. Instead, we are bombarded with segments on trivial matters, sensationalized local weather updates, and sports coverage that borders on propaganda.

The sad truth is that our newspapers and other traditional media outlets have failed us in their duty to inform and educate. Instead, they have chosen to pander to the powers that be, sacrificing truth for access and financial gain. It seems as though they have forgotten their role as the fourth estate, the guardians of democracy, meant to provide a check on those in power.

Take a moment to reflect on the importance of a free press. In a thriving democracy, the media acts as a watchdog, holding the government accountable and ensuring that the voices of the people are heard. Without a truly independent and unbiased media, we risk losing the very essence of democracy. The power of the press lies in its ability to expose corruption, shed light on injustice, and give a voice to the marginalized. Unfortunately, our local media has largely relinquished this power, leaving us with a watered-down version of the truth.

It's time for change. As consumers of news, we need to demand more from our media outlets. We deserve comprehensive coverage that challenges the status quo and presents a balanced perspective. We need journalists who are unafraid to ask tough questions, expose the truth, and hold those in power accountable.

But change won't happen overnight. It requires a collective effort from both media organizations and the public. For media outlets, it means reevaluating their priorities, moving away from sensationalism and sound bites, and focusing on substantive journalism. It means investing in investigative reporting and giving journalists the resources they need to uncover the truth. It means breaking free from the clutches of government and corporate influence and prioritizing the interests of the people.

As consumers of news, we have a responsibility as well. We must actively seek out diverse perspectives, both within and outside of our country. We should question everything we read or hear, making efforts to fact-check and verify information. We should support independent media organizations that prioritize truth over sensationalism. And most importantly, we must never allow ourselves to become complacent or apathetic. Democracy requires an informed and engaged citizenry, and it is our duty to actively participate in the democratic process.

It's clear that some of our local news outlets have failed to live up to their responsibilities. They have prioritized access and profit over truth and accountability. However, change is possible. By demanding more from our media and actively engaging in the democratic process, we can push for a media landscape that truly serves the interests of the people. Let's reclaim our right to the whole truth and strive for a future where our newspapers truly inform and empower us.

Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo
Social Justice Activist
https://muckrack.com/kumbirai-thierry-nhamo/
kumbiraithierryn@gmail.com


Source - Kumbirai Thierry Nhamo
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