Lovemore Lubinda

As the election mood is slowly gripping Zimbabwe, media practitioners have been challenged to put the human face to their election stories by including the voices of the common person, the most integral part in any election matrix.

Seasoned journalist, who spent most of his writing years with the Reuters News Agency, Chris Chinaka has urged journalists in the country to widen their news sourcing by incorporating the voices of those who matters most, the voice of the common person.

Speaking at the Election Coverage Review Meeting held at the Media Centre in Harare this afternoon, Chinaka who was also the facilitator of the discussion, said while the much of the election period activities have been captured in the mainstream media, it is of concern that the voices of the general populace, has not been given enough space.

“Zimbabwe has a population of or above 16 million people; it is worrying that the views of 16 million people is being submerged by those of the few contesting parties.

“The voice of the common person is missing,” he said.

Most of the stories that has been written so far about the elections in Zimbabwe, have been centred around politicians, political parties, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the civic societies, and nothing much about the general citizenry.

He said being the fourth estate, the media should play its role diligently through impartial reporting; thus bridging the gap between the public and politicians or those seeking to be elected into public offices.

Chinaka urged journalist in the country to return to basic when reporting and fulfil the mandate of the fourth estate; that is to inform, educate, and play its oversight role, for media is the eyes of democracy.