COPAC's Final Narrative Report to Parliament - Feb 2013.doc

Information such as names of outreach personnel and

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information, such as names of outreach personnel and lists of meeting points in the newspapers, as well as placing of print adverts urging people to participate in the process. The COPAC website was created to provide an interactive platform for disseminating information and getting feedback on the process. e) Distribution of COPAC publicity and education materials such as the Outreach Manual, Talking Points booklet, Meeting Points booklet, the Frequently Asked Questions Brochure, the newsletter (COPAC news), posters and flyers was done to inform and educate the people. f) Participation at public events such as expos and shows. g) Production of COPAC paraphernalia to help create the environment for constitution- making and keep the subject in the public domain. h) Appearance of COPAC Co-chairs and other members of the Select Committee on radio and television giving information on the process as well as clarifying issues. Programmes for television and radio were also produced by COPAC, some of which were broadcast while others were not used due to due to financial constraints. i) Holding of road shows on the constitution-making process to help publicize the process. 33 The Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) Report to Parliament, February 2013
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2.7.2. Challenges No sooner had the outreach process started than it became fraught with negative publicity from most sections of the media, the sole national broadcaster included. Media monitoring initiatives by COPAC revealed that there was a general unwillingness by the media to provide meaningful coverage for the process. Where one would have expected the media to play a major role in informing the people about the real content of the constitution-making process, the media spent a lot of their negative energy on the watchdog role, publicizing peripheral issues such as shortage of petrol, delays in payments and problems of accommodation at the expense of the real discourse around the process. Publicity for the constitution-making process also faced a huge challenge in that most of the meaningful publicity had to be paid for by COPAC. Information on media releases and statements generated at COPAC that would have ordinarily been used to generate stories on the process while informing the nation were ignored. COPAC material that could have been used on existing programming in the media, such as thematic issues on women and gender issues, was also not used and support for the constitution-making process was not forthcoming. Important events that could have constituted real news were also not taken up. COPAC took steps to counter the negative publicity by giving as much useful and correct information about the process as possible. This information was disseminated in the mainstream and alternative media. Due to lack of funding to effectively counter the negative publicity, the media trend continued, but COPAC was aware that as soon as the true story of the process was told, the generality of Zimbabweans would eventually rally behind the process.
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  • Fall '17
  • Jane Moore
  • ........., Parliament of the United Kingdom, The Honourable, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, The Right Honourable, Constitution Select Committee

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