YESTERDAY, when senior government officials met with the press to brief them on the just concluded 11th annual National Leadership Retreat (Umwiherero), an idea was mooted; that officials should meet with the media prior to holding retreats.
The reasons were put forward and are quite understandable; the media interacts with the population on a day-to-day basis and has its ear to the ground. They feel the country’s pulse and are the channels of the people’s woes, expectations and kudos.
The “Letter to the Editor” section in the print media, the “Comments” in electronic media as well as the popular call-ins on radios, is a trusted thermometer of the opinions on the street. This helps policy makers redirect their course where necessary.
In fact, in their appeals through the media, the public usually calls to attention unfulfilled promises, many made in previous leadership retreats.
While it is a difficult task to invite every profession to take part in Umwiherero, the Fourth Estate, as the media is described, is a necessary linchpin that can help State Organs to fulfil their mandates.
It is not a coincidence that most of the issues treated in our pages and on the airwaves were the main subjects discussed in the just concluded high-level meeting; from stalled infrastructure projects to wrong priorities by government agencies.
This is an indication that regular consultative sessions between the government and the media are essential.