By Lerato Ndlovu
Media Institute of Southern Africa- Zimbabwe (MISA-Zimbabwe) has recently been training media practitioners on cyber security and online safety.
The institute so far has seen media practitioners from Mashonaland West and Harare Provinces, discussing and issuing knowledge on how to handle online sites, their gadgets and related issues in line with their profession.
The workshop coordinator, MISA’s Advocacy officer, Mr Malvern Mkudu said that there is need for journalists to be aware of how they conduct their duties in relation to the internet and also understanding the trends of online issues so as to keep material and sources safe.
“As journalists, you are supposed to be careful of how you handle your sites and gadgets in this technological era since it has proven to be easy for anyone to get access.
“A number of cases involving people having been bugged or their gadgets cloned in countries like South Africa make us wonder and worry for journalists if we are safe in conducting our duties as professional journalists. Hence under these circumstances, journalists should be very wary over the way they communicate especially with sources that request anonymity,” he added.
In return journalists bemoaned secrecy surrounding the surveillance of journalists by state organs under the Interception of Communications Act (ICA) and urged the government to make it open and also requested for the speeding up of the realignment process of AIPPA and POSA with less draconian laws so that they conduct their duties freely.
Of late the government has been working on replacing the laws with more favorable ones that include Freedom of Information Bill, Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill amongst others.