Back to Index
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
Extracted from Weekly Media Update 2007-15
Monday April 16th 2007 - Sunday April 22nd 2007
THE underlying intentions of the authorities' repressive media
laws has been clearly underlined by the paucity of credible and
reliable information, which has left the public in the dark on daily
events affecting their lives. For instance, since the enactment
of the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) in 2002,
four private newspapers, including the then widest circulating Daily
News, have been closed under the draconian law. This has left
the public at the mercy of the government-controlled newspapers,
especially the two dailies, The Herald and Chronicle,
whose dominance of the Print media landscape is unchallenged.
Services Act has been used to stifle the establishment of private
radio and television stations thereby giving the government-run
ZBC its continuing illegal monopoly of the airwaves. But the dominance
of the government media has not translated into adequate provision
of information to the public. Instead, they are basically conduits
of official propaganda aimed at enhancing the public image of government
and the ruling party at the expense of the truth about the actual
causes for the country's crisis and any alternative beliefs.
Issues that reflect badly on government are simply suppressed. As
a result, most people who rely on these media are little wiser about
the country's deteriorating socio-economic and political crises
beyond their own experiences and the ancient practice of story-telling.
three locally based weeklies, The Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe
Independent and The Standard, as well as the UK-based
Zimbabwean, have tried to fill the information gap, they have not
been able to adequately counter the daily propaganda peddled by
the government media due to their limited frequency.
for The Zimbabwean, only the privileged few can afford
the exorbitant costs of the weeklies. This leaves the private radio
stations and the online agencies as the only daily sources of alternative
news fulfilling the public's information needs.
the private weeklies, these are niche market sources of information
mostly accessible to the elite.
is only a fraction of the Zimbabwean population that has any useful,
up-to-date information about the many aspects to the country's
this week the independent electronic media carried 32 stories on
the continuing arrests, abduction and beatings of the opposition
and WOZA activists
and university student leaders. Of these, eight recorded new incidents
while the remainder were either follow-up reports on previous cases
of rights abuses or general stories on the country's deteriorating
human rights record. While the private weeklies carried four incidents
in their nine stories on rights violations, the dominant government
media completely censored the abuses thereby giving the public a
sanitized picture of the situation on the ground.
It is in this
context that MMPZ calls for the urgent repeal of media laws that
so severely restrict the practice of journalism and news dissemination
in order to allow alternative sources of information to develop
that would adequately inform the public and thereby promote citizens'
full participation in the governance of the country.
the MMPZ fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.