‘Use Internet to promote citizenship journalism’

ZIMBABWEANS could disseminate election messages using the Internet to promote citizenship journalism and evade inhibitive media laws and censorship, media consultant and political analyst Ernest Mudzengi has said.

REPORT BY EVERSON MUSHAVA CHIEF REPORTER

Addressing a media workshop organised by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network last week, Mudzengi said Zimbabwe’s highly-charged electoral atmosphere stifled freedoms of expression, the media and access to information and the use of Internet would help close the gap.

“Information communication technologies (ICTs) allow for a wider audience and reach,” Mudzengi said.

“The Internet is one such example which can be accessed by people from all over the world. In cases, ICTs help in the evasion of inhibitive media laws and censorship.

“Media houses must come up with, and or improve, interactive, socially-relevant ICT platforms that effectively spread information on elections. This must, however, be done in the context of the country’s laws,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s media landscape is under siege from a plethora of repressive laws, among them the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Public Order and Security Act, the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, the Official Secrets Act, and the Broadcasting and Services Act.

Mudzengi said people could rely on social network sites to disseminate electoral messages using such platform like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, to mention but a few, together with the use of mobile phone text messages and satellite broadcasting.

Mudzengi said Zimbabweans could use social networking through various modern information communication technologies to “updating regional and local stakeholders on key electoral issues that may be taking place and facilitating discussions regarding elections regardless of time and space”.

According to Mudzengi, viewers now preferred to watch foreign channels beamed into the country by satellite. Latest surveys by advertising organisations have shown that 47% of urban viewers watch satellite TV whereas only 27% watch ZBC-TV.

Speaking at the same event, Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe executive director Takura Zhangazha expressed concern over the criminalisation of journalism and the unnecessary bureaucratisation of media by such bodies like the Zimbabwe Media Commission, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

,

8 Responses to ‘Use Internet to promote citizenship journalism’

  1. Gutter Poet December 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    And this is news? Good. What does this Mudzengi call what is happening at the moment? I thought the land was awash with internet penetration near 50% and rising and mobile phones above 80%..What this genius analyst is saying is in the realm of the obvious so where is the story?

  2. jay December 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Useless commentary Mr Ernest Mudzengi, .In case you’ve been asleep, Zimbabweans have been sharing information on all sorts of online platforms for a very long. To suggest that they “could disseminate election messages using the Internet to promote citizenship journalism and evade inhibitive media laws and censorship” insinuates that they are not doing so already. Please do some research before you comment; most of your readers are more educated than you think.
    Jay

  3. huh!! December 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    suggesting it means that people are not utilising the internet well enough to talk about elections or they are rather focusing on less pertinent issues e.g. Masasi aChinotimba on facebook. way to go Mudzengi lets use the internet to talk about productive things!!!!

    • maitiro December 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      It is a well known fact that people are utilising, even my mother uses whatsapp Mr Mudzengi should not suggest but help in shaping better usage.From his statement he is not going deeper into how people can better use the internet for citizenship journalism… remember citizenship journalism is not only about politics… a mixture of politics, business, and even comedy like Masasi a Chinotimba is what we need….

  4. gono December 18, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    MUSATUKANA; MESE MURI RIGHT!

    • Ranga December 18, 2012 at 6:20 am #

      point!

  5. William Wallace December 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    What we need is a platform:

    “Media houses must come up with, and or improve, interactive, socially-relevant ICT platforms that effectively spread information on elections. This must, however, be done in the context of the country’s laws,” he said.

    Though I think the platform is already there. It isn’t difficult to set up your own blog or website, though it might be important to do so anonomously, with the help of something like tor. The hard part is to reach as many people as possible and to make your blog or website interactive.

  6. William Wallace December 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Citizenship journalism isn’t about your mother sending and receiving messages on WhatsApp or Facebook!

© 2014 NewsDay Zimbabwe. All Rights Reserved.

DMMA logo