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Media Reform Moving Too Slowly Under Zimbabwe Unity Government - Experts


Four months after the launch of Zimbabwe's power-sharing unity government, serious media reform remains to be undertaken, experts on the country's media agree.

Journalists continue to be arrested, foreign media are barred for the most part, no new media players have been licensed, restrictive laws remain on the books, and state media continue to vilify the Movement for Democratic Change though it is a partner in the government.

The only significant development to date is the move by parliament to nominate members of the Zimbabwe Media Commission to replace the Media and Information Commission, which presided over the shuttering of the independent Daily News in 2003.

But the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa has reservations about state regulation, saying it would prefer a self-regulatory approach.

For a closer look, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to media consultant Bornwell Chakaodza, a former editor of the state-owned Herald and independent Standard newspapers, and Group Projects Editor Iden Wetherwell of the Zimbabwe Independent and Standard. Both said media reform is moving far too slowly.

Chakaoadza attributed the sluggish pace of media reform despite the establishment of a power-sharing government to elements which are resisting change.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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