Editorial Policy

Editorial Policy

Editorial Values


YA FM is an interactive radio station licenced in March 2015. The station is located in
Zvishavane but caters for the needs of all of Zimbabwe’ mining communities. Whilst the
Station has a defined terrestrial transmission footprint on 91.8 fm, it is available globally online and through its various new media platforms, i.e. website, Facebook, Twitter,
Instangram etc. Use of new media is an integral part of YAFM

Presenters are expected to be familiar with the broadcast law in Zimbabwe. The following undertakings are not negotiable, as any breach may result in loss of our broadcast license or legal action.



1.1.1 YAFM will strive to have 50% talk and 50% music on-air.
1.1.2 these percentages will be maintained in all programs, with the exception of music driven programs.
1.1.3 Yafm will strive to have 70% locally produced programs, including music
1.1.1. To ensure that the local content is upheld, YAFM will ensure that it trains volunteers as producers to ensure that there is a pool of producers that is producing local programs.

1.1.2. YAFM will strive, through it’s selection and training program, ensure that at least 50% of the presenters are women

2.2.1 YAFM promotes a gender friendly environment
2.2.2 At least 50% of all on-air presenters must be women, in order to promote women voices on air
2.2.3 All presenters and news reporters will seek out the voices of women for interviews
2.2.4 Women will be represented as positive role models on air, and not be represented in a marginalized way

2.3.1 YAFM shall promote a multilingual culture by exposing our listeners to different languages, be it spoken word or music
2.3.2 YAFM will broadcast in the three (3) languages of the Shona, Ndebele and English.
2.3.3 Presenters and listeners will be allowed to speak in the language and launguage most relevant and common to target market.
2.3.4 YAFM will strive to do translations at all times in order to prevent the exclusion of listeners
2.3.5 Swearing is not allowed on air, be it spoken word or music, except if used in the context of demonstrating a point. If swearing is used in this instance, a warning should be made before and during the program.
2.3.6 YAFM will discourage our on-air guests from using swearing as a means of expression.
2.3.7 No sexist language, racial or xenophobia labels will be used on air. If this is found, the relevant person will be suspended until a disciplinary hearing.
2.3.8 The following breakdown of languages will be upheld: Shona (50%) and Ndebele (30% ) English (20%).

2.3.8 The presentation of material that encourages the misuse of drugs including alcohol, narcotics and tobacco is not permitted.

2.3.8 There will be neither personal attacks on private individuals nor slanderous or defamatory statements made on air. This includes Contempt of Court or parliament. No incitement to riot, or to violent or unlawful action of any kind is permitted.

2.4.1 YAFM news will at all times strive to do the following:
– It should seek the truth and reporting it
– It should minimize harm
– It should be accurate
– It should be fair
– It should be gender sensitive
– It should be accountable
– it should be objective
– It should be professional
2.4.2 News will be prioritized in the following order: local, national, African and international
2.4.3 YAFM will strive to have 60% local news stories, 30% national stories and 10% stories from the African continent.

2.4.4 YAFM’s news bulletins will be produced and read in the following language: English, Ndebele and Shona
2.4.5 YAFM news bulletins will be gender sensitive, and will be free from Xenophobia or Religious labels
2.4.6 YAFM will promote positive news, and will strive to promote positive role models from the mining communities.

2.4.7 The news bulletins will be broadcasted hourly on the hour from 6:00 am till 8:00pm.
2.4.8 The duration of bulletins will be a minimum of 2 (2) minutes and thirty (30) Seconds.
2.4.9 All news readers will undergo training in news reading before being allowed to read the news
2.4. 10 No presenter shall criticise any YAFM policies or personnel on-air, off air or online . Any criticism must be referred to the Management Committee in writing.



2.5.1 as the music plays an important role in creating a distinctive sound for any station, all playlisting will adhere to the following policy
2.5.2 At least 60% of all music played should be local. The other 40% can be divided between African and International music.
2.5.3 YAFM will strive, as far as possible, to promote local artists .

2.5.4 All music will be played from the internal server and no presenter will go with their own music in the studio.

2.5.5 Musical tastes and opinions of members may be different from your own, but you have to undertake to respect the rights of members to hold their own opinions.





2.6 On air Rules

2.6.1 All programmes should commence as per the scheduled time and presenters should arrive at the studio at least 30 minutes before start time.

2.6.2 Presenters and reporters can not disclose any internal information, schedules, program content or any information relating to YAFM to competitors or any other outsiders.
2.6.3 You are expected to wear headphones when the microphone is open.



2.7.1 The studio must be kept clean at all times
2.7.2 No foods or drinks may be taken into the studios
2.7.3 No smoking is allowed in the studios
2.7.4 Any presenters found removing or to have removed any property of YAFM from the premises or grounds without authority will be prosecuted
2.7.5 The person using the studio needs to have the relevant training before having access to the studios. If they do not have the necessary training, they will be supervised and assisted by a technician or another staff member.
2.7.6 In event of the studios being used by outside organizations / individuals, YAFM technician or staff member must be present at all times.
2.8.7 YAFM productions and studio work take priority over all other productions. The Programmes controller will decide upon the priority of the productions
2.9.8 Payment for the studio usage is according to Bush Radio rates.

2.9.9 No person suspected of being under the influence of intoxicating substances will be permitted to enter the studio. Contravention of this rule is to be reported to the station management

2.10.1 Definition – Advertising is a paid promotion by a company or organisation that advertises a particular event or product, or advertises the services of the particular organisation or company. The advertisement is normally shorter than one minute.
2.10.2 The total advertising time for the broadcasting day will not exceed the BAZ guidelines on advertising
2.10.3 The costs of advertising will be determined by the Marketing dept and will be increased annually with 10%
2.10.4 Special rates will apply for community organizations and Small, Medium and Macro Enterprises (SMME’s)
2.10.5 Live reads will only be allowed in the case of advertising a SMME or its product, and if the advertising is for one week or less.
2.10.6 Political advertising will only be allowed during elections periods as identified by the Electoral Commission (ZEC).
2.10.7 YAFM reserve the right to reject an advertisement if it breaches any clause in our Memorandum and Articles of Association, if it’s racist, sexist or culturally biased or if we feel that it might offend our listeners
2.10.8 Advertising that is discriminating on the basis of gender, race, xenophobia or religion will not be accepted


2.11.1 Definition – Sponsorship is where a company or organisation sponsored a timeslot longer than 3 minutes to advertise their company or organisation and its services and products. The sponsored time will have an opening and closing billboard.
2.11.2 YAFM will hold the editorial control over the content, and will have the right to stop any program being broadcasted if it is racist, sexist or culturally biased
2.11.3 In the case of a program promoting the work / cause of the sponsor, the sponsor will have the right to make input into the content of the program
2.11.4 All costs of sponsorship will be determined by the GM, in consultation with the Station Manager

2.11.5 There will be no commercial advertising material aired on any program, other than listed sponsorship announcements. Only sponsorship announcements and promotions listed on the CART running sheet or contained in any assigned set of cue cards (e.g. Special Events Calendar) shall be read on air.

2.11.6 Each presenter is expected to air all scheduled sponsorship announcements in full. A failure to include a sponsorship announcement as scheduled involves a breach of contractual obligation to the sponsor and you will be held responsible.




2.12.1 Definition: Community announcements are announcements that promote an activity of organisations such as schools, tertiary institutions, NGO’s or CBO’s.
2.12.2 The broadcasting time of community announcements will be determined by the Programming Coordinator.
2.13 Training

2.13.4 The broadcasting field is an ever changing field because of technological advancements . You will be expected to attend as many training Sessions per annum, as is deemed necessary by YA FMin order to keep ‘current’ with Broadcasting Equipment, Policies, Practices, and procedures.

2.13.2 Off-air Duties

You are required to perform other duties at the station (e.g. office duties, benefit gigs, fundraising, maintenance, library, training, committees, news gathering , online discussions , publicity, IT support).
You can make a regular (weekly) contribution on our website or be available “on-call” for particular projects.
Attendance at Presenters Meetings
17. All presenters must attend all advertised presenters meetings. If unable to attend, it is the presenter’s responsibility to apologise ahead of time in writing to the Program Team, and follow up with their Presenter Support Person regarding information from the meeting.
This policy is intended to provide our journalists and social media practitioners with guidelines to enable them to make full use of the enormous journalistic potential of social media.
We serve the public’s right to know, in line with Zimbabwe ‘s constitution which guarantees this fundamental right in order to allow citizens to make decisions and judgments about their society. We pledge to exercise our role with great care and responsibility to safeguard public trusts in our integrity.

There is no fundamental difference between online journalism, of which social media is a subset, and traditional journalism.

All the same rules and principles apply. Where they differ is in the pressures and form of the outputs. This means that quality can be defined differently on different platforms, but professionalism is judged to the same exacting standards.

This applies whether you are using social media for research, reporting, publishing or interaction with others. But in all instances of your behaviour, both on social media and elsewhere, you are expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics of the Mail & Guardian.

The one absolute to keep in mind is that the YA FM’s reputation is our most valuable asset, so do nothing to damage the qualities associated with that reputation. These are, inter alia, integrity, credibility, honesty and professionalism.

On social media platforms, YA FM reporters can source breaking news and story ideas. We can also break news, as well as use social media to verify news. We can pick authoritative sources from a wide pool, and use our community as a sounding board for ideas and opinions.

For the purposes of this document, “social media” includes Twitter, Facebook, blogging platforms, and commenting functions (such as Disqus), and photo-sharing networks and applications such as Instagram.

Please note presenters and reporters at YA FM will run twitter handles with the company name for branding purposes eg Zenzele with YA FM. These Twitter handles are property of YA FM. You are allowed to have an additional private twitter account.

Be authentic and consider your audience. When sourcing material on social media, include your name and, when appropriate. Readers consume content from people they know and trust, and pass that content on. Be aware that you are part of a community, and subject to the dynamics of that community.

Do not misrepresent yourself on social media. Be upfront about being from YA FM.Do not use subterfuge to obtain information, and do not use underhand technical methods (such as subverting security protocols on websites) to obtain information. Although social media are public platforms, and in general in the public domain, be mindful that some people might not fully understand this. If in any doubt, check with people that they are aware that they are, de facto, commenting in the public domain. In cases where public interest is the overriding factor, the expectation of privacy is not as relevant.

The Internet is home to much disinformation and false data. Be very aware of this, and make sure you are thoroughly conversant with your subject and source before accepting the validity of information received online. As with traditional reporting, take notes. Take a screenshot of any page you are using in your research — pages can be removed from sites, and then you have no proof. This is especially important when using information sourced via social media. Take a screenshot of Twitter conversations or social network pages. As these are private accounts, their owners can delete them.

Information on social media is still owned, despite the illusion of a liminal free-for-all. Always attribute your source, be it a person or a platform. Readers ascribe different values to different sources, so they need to know, for example, when something comes from a user on Twitter as opposed to physical investigation.

Your tweets will be aggregated on to YA FM site. This means the YA FM might, in certain circumstances, be legally responsible for what you write. Exercise the same caution, with regards to libel and fairness, as you would on any other of our platforms. This is not just about the law. If you make a comment that is aggressive or nasty, this can taint our reputation, as well as your personal name in the industry.

Online, the distinction between the public and the private is blurred. Inevitably, your private persona will be conflated with your business persona. If YA FM feels that your private online persona adversely affects your ability to work in your professional area, we may change the area in which you work, or discipline you if this is deemed necessary.

Also, remember that data can be mined in various ways. You might inadvertently betray a source, or leak an upcoming scoop, by a seemingly unrelated series of tweets or posts that tell a revealing story when parsed together. Be vigilant at all times. You are responsible for what you say on social media. Social media are not lesser media: you are judged by the same standards as what is commonly termed “traditional media”. You are responsible for what you write.

Respect copyrights and fair use. Always give people proper credit for their work, and make sure you have the right to use something with attribution before you publish. This is particularly tricky with retweeting, and editing those retweets for space. If you edit someone’s tweet, mark it as a partial retweet (PRT).

Remember to protect confidential & proprietary info. You are obliged, contractually, to protect YA FM ‘s confidential or proprietary information. Employees who share confidential or proprietary information do so at the risk of losing their job and possibly even ending up a defendant in a civil lawsuit. At the very least, companies will seriously question the judgment of an employee who shares confidential or proprietary information via social media.

The bedrock of our authority as a publication is our impartiality. Your profiles, retweets, likes and postings can reveal your political and ideological affiliations. Be very sure that your audience either understands that you are professional enough to put those aside in the workspace, or that those affiliations will not be construed as having an effect on your ability to do objective journalism.

Exercise good judgment. Your comments will be open to misinterpretation and malicious repostings. Always think before you hit enter. Your comments will be monitored – that’s the nature of social media – and will be passed on to your employer. As our reputation is predicated on dealing with controversial subjects, this will always be a contested area. We have to take a standpoint, but be aware that your standpoint has to be defensible according to the Code of Ethics of YA FM.

As with our other publications, our social media are judged on the value we provide to the user. Do not imagine that social media consumers have a less rigid idea of what they want from our publication. The product might be different (shorter, looser tone, etc), but they are still judging by our usual standards.

The separation of the private and the professional
If you have a private social media account (Facebook, Twitter and the like), you are advised to declare your professional affiliation, and include the following disclaimer:

“The views expressed here are strictly personal, and do not represent the views of my employer, YA FM .”

Be aware that people will still not separate the two, so make sure you say nothing that will damage YA FM’s name.
You can still be charging if your post something against the yafm policy on your private account .

Should you break stories on social media? The general rule is, if you don’t do it, someone else will. You don’t want to scoop our other relevant platforms, but social media platforms are as important in terms of building a news reputation. Where possible, we would prefer to break news with a link to a solid piece of content on our other platforms, but there will be many occasions where you’ll have to preempt our news desks. If possible, check with a senior editor on the wisdom of your decision. Generally, the ideal would be that someone checks your social media update before you post it. This will seldom be possible, but make it happen if you are in any doubt.

There’s a delicate balance between whetting our audience’s appetite with teasers about work in progress, and handing a competitive advantage to other news organisations. Here, there are no guidelines possible except those of your professional acumen and common sense. In principle, YA FM is committed to be as transparent a media organization as is possible within the constraints of business sense.






Ethics of Journalism
Truth and Accuracy

YA FM’s commitment to accuracy is a core editorial value and fundamental to our reputation. Our output must be well sourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly tested and presented in clear, precise language.
We should be honest and open about what we don’t know and avoid unfounded speculation. Accuracy is more important than speed and it is often more than a question of getting the facts right. If an issue is controversial, relevant opinions as well as facts may need to be considered.

We have to gather using first hand sources wherever possible.
Cross checking the facts.
• validating the authenticity of documentary evidence and digital material.
• Corroborating claims and allegations made by contributors wherever possible.


Impartiality and diversity of opinion

YA FM has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism. A “healthy ” society depends on diverse sources of reliable information and contending opinions. YA FM is guided by these hallmarks of impartiality:
• A balance that follows the weight of evidence
• Fair treatment;
• Open-mindedness;
Impartiality does not require that every perspective receives equal time, nor that every facet of every argument is presented.
We must ensure we avoid bias or an imbalance of views on controversial subjects.

Strives to be fair to everyone..

When we make allegations of wrong doing, iniquity or incompetence or lay out a strong and damaging critique of an individual or institution the presumption is that those criticised should be given a “right of reply”, that is, given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations before publishing them.
Where a source seeks anonymity, do not agree without first considering the source’s motive and any alternative attributable sources.

Secret recording devices, misrepresentation or other types of deception must not be used to obtain or seek information, audio, pictures or an agreement to participate except where:
a. Justified in the public interest and the material cannot reasonably be obtained by any other means.
b. Consent is obtained from the subject or identities are effectively obscured
c. The deception is integral to an artistic work and the potential for harm is taken into consideration.

Please note
All proposals to record secretly must be approved in advance by the relevant senior editorial personnel
A signed record must be kept of the approval process, even if the request is turned down, and secretly recorded material must be logged.
This record is required even if the material gathered isn’t broadcast. . The decision to gather is always taken separately from the decision to publish.




Privacy is necessary to human dignity and every person reasonably expects that their
Privacy will be respected. But privacy is not absolute. We seek to balance the
Public interest in respect for privacy with the public interest in disclosure of information
and freedom of expression.

Intrusion into a person’s private life without consent must be justified in the public interest and the extent of the intrusion must be limited to what is proportionate in the circumstances.

An individual’s right to privacy is also qualified by their behaviour. People are less entitled to privacy where their behaviour is criminal or seriously anti-social.

When public figures and other people are the subject of news stories they must expect media attention and may be asked questions and their answers recorded for broadcast, without prior arrangement, as they come and go from buildings, airports and so on.


Harm and offence

When we broadcast or publish challenging material which risks offending some of our audience we must always be able to demonstrate a clear editorial purpose. Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, humiliation, sexual violence and discriminatory treatment. We must be sensitive to audience expectations, particularly in relation to the protection of children, as well as clearly signposting the material.

Where content is likely to cause harm or offence, having regard to the context,
make reasonable efforts to provide information about the nature of the content
through the use of classification labels or other warnings or advice.

Avoid the unjustified use of stereotypes or discriminatory content that could reasonably be interpreted as condoning or encouraging prejudice.
Use of offensive language is one area that needs to be closely monitored .
There is no consensus about words that are acceptable, when, and by whom. Different words cause different degrees of offence in different audiences.
Language that causes most offence includes:
• Sexual swearwords.
• Terms of racist abuse.
• Terms of sexual and sexist abuse or abuse referring to sexuality.
• Pejorative terms relating to illness or disabilities.
• Casual or derogatory use of holy names or religious words and especially in combination with other offensive language.




Research on the Internet

The internet provides a rich variety of research sources for programme makers to use .But the internet can also attract hoaxers or people who are trying to deceive and therefore we may need to take special precautions.
Checking Facts

Reporters and presenters should be vigorous about establishing the origin of material derived from the Internet. They should scrutinize eyewitness accounts submitted by email before using them. Any contributor found thought the Internet should be checked and double-checked. We should talk to them before putting them on air to make sure they are who they say they are.
Program Offers and Acceptance
1. Program Team decisions regarding selection and placement of program are submitted to the Management Committee for approval. Any appeal must be received, in writing, within one week.
2. All presenters must sign the Presenters Agreement (this document) in order to complete the acceptance of offer of a show. It must be lodged at (or scanned as an attachment, to) the offices of YAFM within 3 working days of the email offer being made.
3. As a presenter at YAFM, you must agree to abide by the Station Rules, BAZ(Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority) and any relevant legislation pertaining to broadcasting and/or your program content.
4. As a Presenter at YAFM, you will undertake to read and comply with the conditions outlined in the Presenter’s Handbook, available at your first Presenter’s Meeting, or from the YAFM Office.

I have read and understood all paragraphs of the Presenter’s Agreement.
I accept all the program undertakings as set out above.

I, ______________________________________________________________ PRINT NAME
formally acknowledge my responsibilities outlined in this document and any documents, legislation or rules referred to within this document. I accept the offer to be a presenter (as outlined in my letter of offer) on YAFM 91.8. I realise that a breach of any of these undertakings may restrict on-air or studio access.
___________________________________________ _____________ Signature ` Date


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