US Embassy backs Zim women journalists drive for equity in the media

Posted on 14/03/2012

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Harare, March 14, 2012: The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section (PAS) is supporting Zimbabwe’s first ever ‘ladies night’ at Harare’s premier journalist meeting place, the Quill Club, on Thursday.

“The Quill Club is an institution in Harare and we are eager to see the women journalists have their say there,” says Sharon Hudson-Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy. “This ladies night is part of Women’s History Month and will include a panel discussion of gender in the media. It is also part of our year-long mentoring program for young women journalists to help them improve their reporting skills and take on higher-level responsibilities in their professional work.”

Since September 2011, PAS, in partnership with local NGO Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre (HIFC), has been supporting a unique one-year program – the Women Journalists Mentoring Program (WJMP) – for young Zimbabwean women journalists to develop better professional writing and leadership skills. Program activities have included on-on-one pairing with experienced mentors; group meetings and discussions with seasoned journalists from Zimbabwe and the United States; and specialized training sessions within and outside the country. There are thirty participants in the program drawn from various media houses, including ZBC, Zimpapers, Alpha Media, the Daily News and regional newspapers.

Panellists at the event will include Barnabas Thondlana, former Quill Club chairperson, veteran journalist Grace Mutandwa, and Hudson-Dean. The Quill Club is the prime meeting place for local and foreign journalists in Harare and hosts regular discussion sessions with business, political and civil society representatives. Stanley Gama, editor of the Daily News, chairs the current executive and is deputized by documentary film maker Richard Mashave- ZimPAS© March 14, 2012

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