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Young people call for ‘youth sensitive’ radio
Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS)
November 08, 2013

Young people drawn from all corners of the country yesterday called for space in radio and challenged all stakeholders to make concerted efforts to mainstream youth issues in radio programming.

The youth said that radio should play its gate-keeping role through educating, informing and entertaining the youth who constitute the majority of the Zimbabwean population at over 60 percent.

They also called on the government to ‘walk the talk’ by liberalizing the country’s airwaves which would pave way for the participation of the youth in the production of radio content as well as empowering them to own the media.

The youths were speaking at the ‘youth-radio indaba’ that was called by the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) in Harare to discuss the role of the youth in radio programming.

The indaba was attended by youth working with community radio stations, journalists from various media houses, youth organisations and veteran journalists who also shared their experiences with the youth.

The youth said in order to discuss the genuine potential for radio stations to empower youth, it is necessary to engage with youth both as producers and consumers.

They said radio should provide the youth with a platform for debate, news and useful social information and aim to challenge the stigmatized image of the youth by providing non-stereotypical and more positive stories about them, and to provide media training and job opportunities for young people.

“Radio should provide us with the platform to explore opportunities on all fronts be it political, economic or otherwise. The radio should be able to make the youth see greater possibilities in life,” said Collen Chambwera who is studying media at the Midlands State University.

Veteran Journalist Chris Chivhinge from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation challenged the youth to actively participate in influencing radio content across all radio stations while media expert Takura Zhangazha urged the youth to take advantage of the 75 percent local content through involvement in radio production. Another veteran journalist and Star Brite founder Barney Mpariwa also shared his experiences with the youth.

The radio indaba is part of the media diversity campaign that ZACRAS is coordinating with other partners in the media whose aim is to make government and development partners respond to the needs of young people as well as empowering them to express themselves and enhance their communication skills.

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