Friday, September 27, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) ZiFM 'most credible' radio station: survey
02/09/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZiFM boss Supa Mandiwanzira on Monday launched a blistering attack on the London-based SW Radio Africa for withdrawing its membership of a media body to protest a decision to congratulate ZiFM on turning one.

SW Radio pulled out of the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) last week after station manager Gerry Jackson claimed some of ZiFM’s political programmes were “fit only for broadcast on the state media...”

On Mandiwanzira, she added: “He is now a Zanu PF MP and has shown his support for Zanu PF, which was the reason he was given a licence. There is a belief that ZiFM is funded by state security.”

The VMCZ has defended its decision to congratulate ZiFM, which is one of its members, on its first anniversary. VMCZ chairman Alex Muchadehama, a prominent local lawyer, said their congratulatory statement “made no reference to personalities, but the institution that is ZiFM on the basis of its subscription to the VMCZ Media Code of Conduct.”

And buoyed by a survey released last Friday by the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe which concluded that ZiFM was the most “credible” radio station in the country, Mandiwanzira hit back on Monday.

He said in a statement: “We are very grateful that the MMPZ has again confirmed our status as the leading and most credible radio station in the country, and that our news coverage is unparalleled and a cut above the rest.

“This exposes SW Radio Africa for what they are: a danger to media pluralism and a spectacular example of a failed regime change project. They thought they would be able to change Zimbabwe through propaganda, now they are trying to discredit ZiFM in the same way – even as the station has been judged to be the most trusted and credible broadcaster in the country.”

Mandiwanzira, the new MP for Nyanga South, accused Jackson of “intolerance”, comparing SW Radio Africa to RTLM radio of Rwanda which incited violence during the genocide.

Blasted Mandiwanzira: “The level of intolerance by Gerry Jackson and her lot speaks volumes about how much a danger they are to media pluralism. The fact they were members of VMCZ all along with us shows how hypocritical they are, to now turn around and rain on our parade after we were congratulated on a spectacular performance.”

Between April 1 and June 15, the MMPZ compiled a ‘Media Credibility Index Zimbabwe’ in which it “monitored and analysed the content and credibility of the front page and top stories in 11 print and electronic mainstream media outlets.”

The study concluded that “the electronic media carried the most credible top news reports among the surveyed media in the period under review, achieving an overall credibility standing of 97 percent.”

It added: “ZiFM, Studio 7 and The Standard carried the most trustworthy top news reports in the country among the surveyed media while The Sunday Mail, The Herald and ZTV contained the highest number of flawed top reports.”

All 134 of ZiFM’s top stories during the period under review were judged credible.

Added Mandiwanzira: “We are very serious about the principles of journalism and will continue on the same path which has made us most trusted and credible media organisation in just a year of existence.

“I want to congratulate my news team led by Kelvin Jakachira and wish to reinforce to our readers that we will maintain and do better than we are doing. That must send a message to the likes of SW Radio Africa that we are a serious player and not a pirate player.”

ZiFM and the Zimpapers-owned Star FM were granted licences two years ago amid an outcry by rivals who said the owners of the station were too close to the Zanu PF government and called into question their independence.

You can listen to ZiFM online, CLICK HERE

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