Zim newsrooms a danger to female journalists

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

NEWSROOMS have become difficult and dangerous environments for young graduates joining the journalism profession in Zimbabwe, AB Communications chief executive officer, Susan Makore has said.

Makore said this Wednesday, while contributing to a discussion at the Bornwell Chakaodza Annual Memorial Lecture Series hosted by the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) in the capital.

The event was in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day.

“What I want to put across is the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. If we go to our laws, the Labour Act is not very clear when it comes to sexual harassment, as a well defined crime or a vice in the workplace,” Makore said.

She added that perpetrators are mostly men and in a few cases female.

“How do we address it in a tangible way within the newsrooms without instilling fear? It’s a fact that the majority of those affected are women.

“Yes men are sexually harassed at work but I think what is a problem is that our newsrooms are becoming scary especially for young graduates,” said Makore.

“When some of them come for attachment, they will never want to come back because there are predators in our newsrooms.”

Makore called for reforms in the media sector arguing these could help curb the problem of harassment in newsrooms.

“So within this media reform agenda, we also need to look at it as a sector to make sure that our newsrooms are safe environments to work in,” she said. Memorial