Foreign papers begin registering with ZMC

Some foreign-based media houses have started registering with the Zimbabwe Media Commission following a warning that they will be barred from circulating publications in the country.\r\n

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The foreign media houses were also ordered to have their locally based journalists accredited with the ZMC.

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The foreign media houses were also ordered to have their locally based journalists accredited with the ZMC.
ZMC chairperson Mr Godfrey Majonga yesterday confirmed that some of the publications were complying with the directive.

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“Some of the publications are in the process of registering with the ZMC and those who fail to comply with the requirement will be barred from entering the country,” he said.
Mr Majonga reiterated that the commission had the overall mandate of the media in the country.

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“If a publication fails to comply with the requirements of the law, then that publication will be banned,” he said.
“The Commission works in liaison with other Government departments, so it would not be difficult to effect such a ban.”

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The move by ZMC comes in the wake of complaints to the media watchdog by members of the public concerning some stories carried by the foreign publications.
Mr Majonga said the Commission could not deal with such cases because the publications did not have representatives in the country.

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They also do not have registered local offices.
“The Commission noted that there were a number of publications circulating in the country, but not all needed to register local offices in terms of the law,” he said.
“Publications whose editorial content was targeted at the Zimbabwean market and readership were directed to register local offices.”

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Such publications, said Mr Majonga, were employing local journalists who were not accredited in terms of the law to gather news for publication. This was in violation of Section 90 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

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Mr Majonga said it was an offence according to the law to publish or operate a media house without first obtaining a certificate of registration from the commission.
He warned that anyone who produces a publication without registration would be brought before the courts and the media house subsequently closed.

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ZMC keeps a register of all registered mass media service providers and the publications they circulate.
It also conducts on spot checks on a regular basis to ascertain if all circulating publications are registered.

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