Women in Bulawayo are angry at the manner in which the B-Metro covers issues pertaining to their victimisation and are planning to stage a demonstration against the weekly tabloid, Msasa Project regional manager, Mrs Lindile Ndebele, told journalists last week.
Msasa Project is an organisation that fights for women's rights and helps them seek redress in cases of violations.
Speaking at a Bulawayo hotel during a Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Advocacy press club meeting to discuss gender-based violence, Mrs Ndebele said: "I don't know; are there journalists from B-Metro here? Women actually want to demonstrate against you because they feel revictimized by that paper. People do not like that paper."
Mrs Ndebele said women felt revictimized by the Zimpapers stable paper in its reportage of gender-based violence in situations where women are victims.
"For example on page 2 0n Friday, Dec 9, 2011 it says: 'Emakhandeni suburb man has been arrested for increasing his wife's head with a knobkerrie.' Already that is re-victimisation. A woman has been beaten with a knobkerrie, and a journalist is putting a story in the paper and says her head has been increased," complained Mrs Ndebele.
"People will laugh at the matter instead of sympathising. I think you are getting our concerns as the women's organisations that instead issues to do with GBV are trivialized and and made into jokes. You find a journalist writing 'after increasing' do you think other women after reading this will go public about their beating? Obviously, they will not," she said.
Mrs Ndebele whose organisation held a workshop on gender-based violence reporting for journalists in the southern region during the 16 days of Activisim Against Gender Based Violence last week, said the language used by B-Metro was degrading and contributing to moral decadence and advised the tabloid to improve on it.
Legal practitioner, Mr Charles Paul Moyo, of Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners, also at the same meeting described the B-Metro language as "atrocious" and not good for public consumption saying the paper was detrimental to adults let alone children.
Mr Moyo also took the opportunity to condemn media houses for publishing pictures of the alleged female rapists. "That is illegal; every journalist of any moral standard knows that a person is innocent until proved guilty. Now how will you clean her name if she is found innocent of being a rapist?" questioned Mr Moyo.
"How are you going to do that? Everybody, the whole nation knows that. Can we stand up here and say we did a good job? We should all be ashamed!" he added.