The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) hosted a lecture in memory of one of Zimbabwe’s greatest journalist, the late Bornwell Chakaodza. The VMCZ is a professional media self-regulatory body set up in 2007 to promote media freedom and ethical journalism.
Vincent Kahiya, Editor-in-Chief of Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), one of Zimbabwe’s leading newspaper publishers, delivered a keynote address titled: “The Future of Zimbabwean Media in the Disruptive Digital Age”, which focused on the challenges that Zimbabwean media is facing due proliferation of new technologies.
Kahiya said that the traditional media in Zimbabwe is not engaging in a disruption of its continuously shrinking business models.
“We must work with new players in the game instead of trying to outcompete them. We need win-win partnerships with technology firms and start-ups. We need to change at the same pace with advertisers and accommodate citizen journalists into our space,” said Kahiya, adding that similar standards need to be applied to professionally trained journalists and citizen journalists.
Hivos, in partnership with the Royal Netherlands Embassy (RNE), is currently supporting VMCZ to promote freedom of expression through a media complaints mechanism that does not criminalise the work of journalists, while at the same time promoting accountability.
VMCZ Executive Director Loughty Dube said that the objective of the Memorial Lecture is to celebrate the life of journalist Bornwell Chakaodza. Chakaodza at his death was the VMCZ Board Deputy Chairperson.
“The Bornwell Chakaodza Memorial Lecture is aimed at reminding everyone of the importance of professionalism and ethical conduct in the practice of journalism. It also places emphasis on media freedom and media self-regulation issues that were so close to Bornwell Chakaodza’s heart,” said Dube.
A former director at the Ministry of Information and editor of the Herald and Standard newspapers, Chakaodza was a seasoned, respected, principled and fearless journalist who had a deep-seated love of the profession and was passionately committed to the values of VMCZ.
Chakaodza’s media career spanned over three decades. He lectured journalism at the Christian College of Southern Africa and Harare Polytechnic in the 1980s and early 1990s. He was appointed Director of Information in the then Ministry of Information, Posts and Telecommunications in 1993.
In 1998, he was appointed The Herald editor and doubled as the managing director of Zimpapers Newspapers Division. He was also appointed to the ZBC board in March 2000. Chakaodza left The Herald in August 2000 and later assumed editorship of The Standard between 2002 and 2005.