Cooked up figures do not win election

Cooked up figures do not win election
Published: 20 March 2018 (288 Views)
The privately owned daily newspaper, the NewsDay, risks losing credibility after it appointed itself the MDC Alliance's mouthpiece, a position that has forced it to throw into the bin, the basic journalistic ethos in a bid to please the former.

The Newsday has been cooking up the MDC-Alliance rallies' attendances, a move that has exposed its unholy alliance with the opposition party.

It's worrisome that the NewsDay, which is supposed to report facts, has now jumped onto the bandwagon of false reporting with the intention to seek political relevance for the MDC-T leader, Nelson Chamisa.
The MDC Alliance which is being led by MDC-T president, Chamisa recently held a rally at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru. The attendance of the rally was allegedly poor and not as per expectation. Considering that the alliance consists of more than five opposition political parties, the crowd was also expected to be huge. However, this did not turn up as anticipated.

To circumvent this reality, the alliance mouthpiece went into propaganda overdrive to propel their agenda, the NewsDay decided to use an old picture showing MDC-T supporters at a rally at Rudhaka Stadium, Marondera in 2013 at the launch of that party's manifesto. But who is fooling who here?

Deliberate propaganda of using fake pictures by NewsDay to prop up Chamisa in his campaign rallies is an embarrassment and can be equated to putting lipstick on a pig. Using an old picture to misinform the public will not make Chamisa a winner. Remember voting will be done in the ballot box and not in the press. It's actually better for the Alliance to know the truth than living in la la land lest they get a rude awakening post-election, punctuated with a dismal showing at the polls.

The MDC Alliance leader also believes in his own propaganda. Whilst in Chinhoyi, Chamisa peddled falsehoods on social media about the number of people who attended the opposition alliance rally.  Chamisa tweeted a post on his twitter handle that the alliance rally was attended by 20 000 people. This was contrary to what was on the ground. People who attended the rally, including reporters from various media houses questioned Chamisa on the inflated number of supporters whom he said attended his rally. However, the alleged number of 20 000 supporters in Chinhoyi was fabricated with no basis on the ground by desperate political day dreamers like Chamisa. Some journalists said they were threatened by that party's vanguard for posting genuine pictures showing the actual number of supporters that were present at that rally.

In as much as Chamisa tries to market himself as the presidential candidate of the MDC Alliance, being deceptive is no recipe to election victory but rather a deal breaker. The same applies to the NewsDay. Being a mouthpiece of Chamisa and his allies is not a problem; the hitch only comes when what is being disseminated is falsehood. The propensity by NewsDay to continue publishing "naked" propaganda will cost that press's credibility.

The privately owned newspapers in Zimbabwe are known for being mouthpieces of opposition political parties through their propaganda articles that spearhead their agendas while discrediting the ruling Government. This was also depicted by the Dailynews, which published a story on doctor's strike and used a fake picture. According to analysts, the picture with people protesting was taken from Kenyan picture archives.
All journalists should abide by media ethics when reporting, since, the media is used as a yardstick to assess democracy in any country. The media should not undermine the intelligence of readers.

Journalists should be warned against reporting biased news as being objective is one of the key journalistic ethics that must be adhered to.

- Peacemaker Zano


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