Award-winning veteran Zimbabwean journalist Geoff Nyarota, one of the best local scribes, will tomorrow launch his fourth book, The Journalist as an Outcast: Perils of Investigative Reporting in Zimbabwe.
The book will be launched at Sapes Trust in Harare run by academic and publisher Professor Ibbo Mandaza.
Nyarota, whose career was dramatically elevated by the Willowgate scandal in 1988 when he was editor of The Chronicle, has also edited the Financial Gazette, Daily News and Zimbabwe Times.
Nyarota’s growing repertoire of books includes Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Zimbabwean Newsman, The Graceless Fall of Robert Mugabe: The End of a Dictator’s Reign, The Honourable Minister: An Anatomy of Endemic Corruption and the new one The Journalist as an Outcast: Perils of Investigative Reporting in Zimbabwe.
While it is common for journalists to write books in other countries, in fact in their DNA, it is not in Zimbabwe.
Only a few have written books.
Many journalists with good and compelling stories to tell don’t write books in this country for many reasons.
So they die with their stories, knowledge and experiences.
Yet books are a rich repository of knowledge, information and history.
Beyond that, they are cultural artifacts which transcend generational boundaries across different times.
Their immense utility as story, information and knowledge journeys lies in connecting one generation to another to preserve history, while providing links between the past, present and future.
Given their vast experiences in reporting, writing and storytelling, Zimbabwean journalists should not simply end up as reporters, sub-editors, proof readers, editors, and news anchors.
They should be watchdogs of society – a force for the common good and public interest – who also write useful books for current and future generations.