Zimbabwe media reforms: Real or sham?. Joburg Radio days 05 July 2012. Conclusion The latest media reforms in Harare are a SHAM designed and implemented as a smokescreen to SADC and media reform activists.
Zimbabwe media reforms: Real or sham?
Joburg Radio days
05 July 2012
You might have the best laws, constitutions, but as long as the HUMAN FACTOR is not taken care of, where there is impunity and no rule of law, then you will cry till cows come home to roost and have no reform.
Putting the new licences into perspective:
There have been more than 28 new licences in the print industry since 2009, and recently, only two in the broadcasting arena.
-Mostly beauty, fashion, soccer and religious magazines.
-2 national daily newspapers that sell at a $1 each
Important step but how many can buy the newspapers in a country with high unemployment rates?
Do the papers take care of the rural constituencies?
Affordability and accessibility hinder against the principle of INCLUSIVITY
Whereas this guarantees a wider audience than print media, do the current licencees guarantee diversity?
We have to ask who are these new players are to answer this question.
Zimpapers Talk Radio station
This is a new division of the old Zimpapers that has always told one side of the Zimbabwean story.
Expecting the radio to differ from the Zimpapers print products, to provide the much needed diversity and inclusivity, is like expecting to extract milk from a soccer ball
AB Communications ZI FM
Not much is known about the station so far, but a lot is known about their public face, Supa Mandiwanzira.
At his best, he is our answer to SABC’s Vuyo of morning live, if not way better
He is a shrewd businessman…a typical black diamond that must be allowed to shine
A Zanu PF apologist, and a strong contender for the Zanu PF Nyanga South House of Assembly parliamentary seat. (Assuming the licence carrot dangled won’t help him change his mind)
From past performance and associations, does he offer hope for
diversity and inclusivity?
Where does this leave Zimbabwe?
In a worse state than was before GPA and these two licences.
Whereas in the past, we used to battle with a clearly partisan and nauseating public broadcaster with 6 outlets (4 radio and 2 tv) we are most likely to end up with the old partisan public broadcaster and two new pseudo-party mouthpieces that will really drown any other diverse view in the country
Most likely the stations will try to outdo each other in the service of a political party and a ruling minority to the detriment of INCLUSIVITY and DIVERSITY