Newspapers in Zimbabwe

Sarah Helen Chiumbu, M. Phil.

In Zimbabwe the national papers The Herald and The Chronicle are concentrated in the areas surrounding the major two cities. In the rural areas they might reach the centres and growth points along the major roads. There are very few community radio stations in Africa. Localised broadcasting would ensure that people in the rural and other periphery areas are fully informed. Kasoma has argued that small media are much better than the big national media in accommodating people's ideas at the grassroots level. People need relevant information which involves the right to use the means of communication for interaction in small scale settings of community. In most African countries the majority of the people, estimated at between 70% and 80% live in the rural areas and these people are in dire need of information, especially information related to their rights. In 1988, the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust established a community newspaper project with the support of various international donors. The newspapers under this project reach sections of the society with little access to other media. The newspapers attempt to cover issues directly relevant to the people, though sometimes the editorial policy affects the coverage of some controversial issues. The newspapers have also failed to inform ordinary rural citizens of their legal and social rights. The problem of the project is that, among others, it lacks an organised distribution system.

References

Kasoma, F. "From Ministries of Information to Ministries of Public Communication," in Media, Culture, and Communication. Ed. H. Arntsen. Oslo: University of Oslo, 1993.


[from Sarah Helen Chiumbu, Democracy, Human Rights, and the Media: A Case Study of Two Human Rights Organizations and the Media in Zimbabwe. Oslo: University of Oslo, 1997, page 52. Available from Available from Department of Media and Communications [info@media.uio.no].


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