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House-styles should differ

YOUR article “Pressure mounts on independent media”, (Zimbabwe Independent, October 1) raises a lot of questions about the role of the Media and Information Commission (MIC) in promoting ethical journalistic conduct in our media.

Section 39(b) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) empowers the MIC to “receive and act upon comments from the public about the administration and performance of the mass media in Zimbabwe”.

Where there is no agreed upon code of conduct, anyone anywhere can say anything about the media and the MIC can act legally.

According to MIC chairman Tafataona Mahoso’s frail logic, everybody should accept this because the law was passed by parliament – and the process was democratic!

As implementer of this vague law, Mahoso knows best that acting on the basis of such provisions is hopeless, especially when his team has taken no time to educate the public about the code of conduct the commission is using.

If it is house-style, it will be folly to apply the Herald newsroom policy to the Standard and vice versa.

As a “social scientist”, I am sure Mahoso knows the dangers of using such methodologies. Conclusions drawn from these methods are not sustainable even in a family setting.

And could the MIC, for the benefit of the public, please publish its contact details including phone numbers, physical address and e-mail in the media.



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