Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) has responded to the Chinese Embassy in Harare’s statement which expressed disappointment at reports by The Standard, a publication under AMH, which it said were meant to tarnish Chinese companies operating in Zimbabwe. The Standard had previously reported that Chinese companies were polluting the environment, engaging in corruption and abusing workers. In a statement seen by Pindula News, AMH said The Standard is guided by the codified professional ethics of journalism, namely Accuracy, Impartiality and Fairness. Reads the statement:
ALPHA MEDIA HOLDINGS RESPONSE TO CHINESE EMBASSY
I have taken due note of the dismay recently expressed by the Chinese Embassy against The Standard, one of the publications of Alpha Media Holdings (AMH). In a statement published in The Herald on 11 July, 2022 and captioned “Chinese Embassy dismisses newspaper report”, the Chinese Embassy complained that it had been subjected to sustained attack and smear over several articles that are meant to tarnish its image.
The Chinese Embassy further complained that the articles in question are bent on stigmatising the embassy in particular and Chinese business in general. In the statement, the Chinese Embassy accused The Standard of “anti-democratic behaviour of public opinion bullying and scoundrelism”. The Chinese Embassy also alleged that AMH journalists are being paid by foreign-linked NGOs and a foreign embassy.
I would like to place on record that:
o AMH is an independent media house which is free from any political ties or outside influence. Newsgathering is done by a professional team of journalists under the supervision of highly experienced editors who are guided by “Our Pledge”, which sets out clear guidelines of our work ethic.
o AMH is the only news organisation in Zimbabwe with an independent Editorial Advisory Board of Trustees which is totally committed to delivering accurate and impartial news designed to inform the public debate and enable Zimbabweans to make educated choices.
o AMH has also established the office of an internal independent ombudsman who is a retired judge of the High Courts of both Zimbabwe and Botswana to ensure that our titles live up to AMH’s principles and are accountable to the public. The public is invited to freely approach this esteemed office whenever any of our publications are found wanting in any way whatsoever on the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
In short, all AMH publications, including The Standard, are guided by the codified professional ethics of journalism, namely Accuracy, Impartiality and Fairness. However, AMH, like all news organisations around the world, publishes opinion pieces generated by the public and also often engages partners who may contribute articles in any of its titles. It is international best practice that such partners should declare their respective interests to AMH and it is incumbent upon each publication that such interest is clearly stated when an article is published. This is done to ensure that the public is clear that the opinions expressed in such articles are not necessarily those of AMH and/or any of its publications.
The Chinese Embassy has identified one such partner against whom it has a grievance. AMH will, going forward, employ all the editorial rigour possible to ensure that our partners are made aware of our pledge and, like us, should always endeavour to seek the truth, deliver the facts and offer relevant context and analysis where appropriate. It is anathema for any AMH journalist to receive any payment outside the remuneration which he/she receives from the company for writing an article for publication in any of its titles. Any such misdemeanour or transgression is taken very seriously as it constitutes a dismissable offence.
Muchadeyi Ashton Masunda
AMH Editorial Advisory Board of Trustees