By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Media Monitors of Zimbabwe is holding a three-day training workshop on Public Finance Management Reporting in Harare to familiarise media personnel on the needed actions.
The training is informed by a research that the media monitors engaged in so as to generate knowledge on the prevailing conditions within public fiscal management.
“To seek information on the subject matter Media Monitors engaged in a preliminary research that was mainly done in the form of desk research. The research explored issues from 11 print media organisations, six electronic media houses and two online publications,” Prisiel Samu the Media Monitors of Zimbabwe Research Officer said.
The training is aimed at equipping journalists with the necessary knowledge to improve their media contributions on issues to do with public finance management.
“The training workshop seeks to better inform media practitioners on the dynamics within Public Finance Management. We hope that through the training, journalists will be better positioned to better articulate the issues and in turn accurately reach a wider audience,” Patience Zirima, the Executive Director of Media Monitors Zimbabwe said.
The training is urging journalists to be more analytical in financial management issues while maintaining simplicity to allow for wider reach of accurate information.
“There is need for an accurate level of being analytical when dealing with public finance management issues whilst at the same time maintaining simplicity. Considering the interest amongst all key demographics on public accountability, such an action will realise understanding of public finance issues amongst the illiterate and rural population,” Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe Executive Director Loughty Dube said.
Journalists were urged to adopt a comparative approach so as to share and better understand financial resource management information through the media.
“There is need to adopt a comparative analysis on Zimbabwe’s public financial management issues and reportage with other key stakeholders from the region and internationally so as to contextualise Zimbabwe’s circumstances to happenings elsewhere. This can be thought as potentially better positioning Zimbabwe to best report on the issues,” Dube said.
Media practitioners applauded the move by Media Monitors to better equip them with the necessary skills to disseminate public financial management information
“The training is important as it facilitates for improvement in knowledge on public finance reportage. The establishment of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, ZACC, and the neutral criticism presented by the Auditor General’s Office stand testament of government’s commitment to enhance accountability and Transparency. As media practitioners we should complement the effort.”
The workshop is running for three days under the theme ‘Reporting on Public Finance Management in Zimbabwe: A guide to improving transparency and accountability and in attendance are media practitioners from the print, broadcast and online media.