The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) must improve the quality of its productions to meet regional and international standards; Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Officially commissioning two High Definition Digital studios at ZBC Pockets Hill Studios yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa said never again should ZBC programming be done from makeshift studios.
She said ZBC must be at the centre of Government efforts to rebrand the country.
“Never again do we want to see programming done from makeshift studios, which also make them makeshift programmes. Zimbabweans at home and abroad deserve better. It is common knowledge that Zimbabwe got television ahead of most countries in the region and today we cannot look the other way when we lag behind. It is time for ZBC to modernise its productions and operations and today marks the beginning of that process,” she said.
“The national broadcaster should be at the centre of Governments efforts to rebrand the country. We must project the right image of Zimbabwe. President Mnangagwa has declared that Zimbabwe is open for business and the national broadcaster should move with this agenda.
“Let these studios be used for debates on this transformational agenda and others. They must be the centre for this developmental agenda and the new ZBC
“I want to see is one which is modern and open for various ideas. No one should be denied access as we are all Zimbabweans whose common goal is to see a better Zimbabwe.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said communication was central to development, hence the nation must be armed with relevant information in order to make correct decisions.
She said although the scarcity of funds had seen the digitisation programme lagging behind, she was happy that two HD digital studios were ready for use, coupled with 11 out of 42 transmitters among other developments.
“Yes, the digitisation process shall continue with the focus now on completing the remaining transmitters and acquiring the set top boxes needed to receive the digital signal in the home.
“But we are saying while the process is ongoing, Zimbabwe should start enjoying the fruits of the digitisation programme through the use of the studios,” she said.
“As you are aware, the Second Republic is all about action, as espoused by our leader His Excellency President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, who himself is a man of action, hard work and dedication.
“If we are going to develop the nation, then we have to move and move fast.
“Communication is central to the developmental process. The nation must be armed with relevant information in order for them to make correct decisions as we surge forward,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa advised ZBC to be professional in the use of the studios by adhering to strict standard operation procedures which should never be flouted.
“These studios are a national heritage and, therefore, should be guarded jealously through proper professional conduct.
“Users of these studios must be properly trained not only to ensure proper use of the facility, but so that every piece of digital innovation is utilised for modern programming,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa challenged ZBC to bring back drama series such as “Mukadota and Family”, game shows and talk shows.
She said ZBC should have a culture of training their staff in various fields such as producing, presenting and editing among others to ensure that it catches up with the rest of the world in broadcasting.