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The Zimbabwe High Court has granted Zimbabwe Online Content Creators (ZOCC) an interim relief order in their court challenge against Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) over the proposed new media accreditation criteria. Justice Zhou ruled in favor of the online Content creators association citing that the media commission had no legal standing in the discriminatory move they had introduced.
Emerging from the high court and flanked by the association’s lawyer, Advocate Chris Mhike, ZOCC president Toneo Rutsito said, “This is a great and significant victory for all online content creators, as the high court has found merit in our case against the media commission, where we violently objected to their notion that some journalists are more equal, thus granting us our order.”
Speaking to Adv Mhike, the association’s legal representative, he said, “the interim relief order interdicted the Zimbabwe Media Commission from carrying on with the accreditation process and may only proceed after consultations with ZOCC.”
ZOCC was challenging the newly proposed accreditation methods which would categorize online content creators differently from those belonging to mainstream media, which would have resulted in online content creators being discriminated against and resultantly having little to no access to news sources and state functions.
Its ZOCC’s belief that no journalist should be treated as second class and hence the successful court challenge. This is certainly a great day and victory for media freedoms and access to information.
ZOCC is a voluntary association of Online Content Creators comprised of online news website publishers, bloggers, vloggers, animators, and social media managers amongst others who predominantly publish their creativity on the Internet. The association strongly believes in the freedom of media and upholding of ethical, credible, and balanced journalism, as cornerstone values that build and strengthen the media society. ZOCC members are guided by the digital media code of conduct as they practice their various online activities to inform, educate, and entertain their various audiences.