By Lungile Moyo and Loveness Nyathi
Amakhosikazi Media, last week held a dialogue meeting with female students of Media and Journalism with the aim of encouraging them to stay and practice news production in various newsrooms in the country.
The meet up, held at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) American Space in Bulawayo, was graced by dozens of journalism students from NUST, Midlands State University (MSU), Great Zimbabwe University (GZU), University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Lupane State University (LSU), Speciss College and 8 practising female journalists.
The dialogue meeting organised by the Women’s Media for Development Foundation (WMDF), discussed survival strategies for female journalists in the industry described as tough especially for young female reporters.
Speaking at the meeting, WMDF director, Sibusisiwe Bhebhe, said the meeting aimed at helping to shape journalism student’s careers in the field of work as well as to prepare female journalism students for practice.
The guest speaker, Fortune Dlamini Moyo, a journalist working for Global Press, urged female student journalists to be passionate about their careers, to love what they do and to be confident in themselves.
Moyo also recommended that the students read every day and practice writing in order to boost their writing skills.
“Write stories that will influence change in the lives of the people and communities at large,” she said. “Some stories influence change, so as journalism students you should be driven by the change which may be influenced by your story”.
Some female student journalists who were once interns and those who are going under internship said as female journalists they face serious challenges of being treated as fragile.
They said when they wanted to go and cover events as far as Binga their supervisors at times denied them the opportunity saying they cannot travel to faraway places “because they are women”.
A student from Speciss College suggested that, in future, in meetings such as the dialogue there should be legal experts who will help aspiring journalists protect their ideas and photographs which were sometimes used by editors without their permission and without acknowledging them.
Annahstacia Ndlovu a freelance journalist urged female journalists to stand up and fight for their space in the journalism profession as it was not easy to survive without a tough stand.