The remarks by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Minister of Information Protais Musoni during a consultative meeting between the Government and practitioners in private media to address challenges that hamper the growth of private media institutions, should be heeded by all and sundry in the media.
Yesterday, as we celebrated World Press Freedom Day, I realized that the Minister had said something very profound.
I’ve heard many media practitioners complain that they weren’t getting enough government support and advertisements. This is a negative way of looking at things.
Maybe these media people should be more introspective. If the product that they were selling was of better quality, then more people would want to but it; therefore increasing sales.
And if there were more sales, then private individuals would be more willing to invest in an advert because they would know that many people would notice it.
However, to do that these media houses must be able to invest in human and capital resources. That needs money. My suggestion is that these media houses attempt to consolidate and therefore increase market share and decrease costs of production. This is my humble opinion.
I think it is high time that our media houses professionalized and modernized as well. It makes little sense to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, when the local press isn’t as lively as it should be, because of weaknesses in their modus operandi.
Instead of looking for government support, which isn’t necessarily bad, I think that they should be engaging with the private sector a whole lot more. Make your papers a lot more readable.