Masvingo based lawyer Yolanda Chandata has urged Masvingo Journalist to report without fear or favor to fight against human rights violations.
In her presentation at a workshop organized by the Zimbabwe Union for Journalists to discuss how journalists can help in fighting against organized violence and torture (OVT), she said journalist play a crucial role through exposing cases of violence without fear.
“As media practitioners you should also be in a position to do your work without fear and expose all forms of human rights violations especially during elections as we witnessed in the Province, a number of people were politically victimized,”
“The issues of torture and organized violence have been going on and it is still with us so there is need for you as journalists to make noise to expose and empower the communities to fight against the human rights violations,” added Chandata
She also emphasized the need for accurate sourcing saying the media was a powerful tool which can be used to disseminate information hence there was need for journalists to have reliable sources and fact checking mechanisms so that they avoid becoming accomplices in peddling false information.
“As journalists there is need for you to identify good sources of information, you need to have reliable sources especially on issues to do with violence and torture.
“It is important to go to police and verify if there are any cases that have been reported concerning torture and organized violence, you can also engage our prosecutors and lawyers who will be dealing with cases that we want to report about. So, the source is very important in improving reportage of such cases,” said Chandata
On sourcing she also said journalists can engage the next of kin or family members of victims because they could have first-hand other than other sources.
She also warned journalists against reporting fake news saying there were consequences for publishing falsehoods.