Repression, Propaganda, and Digital Resistance: New Media and Democracy in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has been in a state of acute political and economic crisis since 2000. Although the causes of the crisis are multifaceted, the predominant view is that there is a breakdown in the rule of law and observance of human rights by the state that is faced with overwhelming pressure from civil society, opposition parties, and the news media to embrace democratic reforms (Ranger 2005; Zaffiro 2002; Phimister and Raftopoulos 2004). The state and its critics have fought their information and ideological battles not only through the old analogue or traditional media of radio, TV, and newspapers, but also the new digital media, such as the Internet. The focus of this chapter is on the role played by the Internet in democracy in Zimbabwe. It begins by tracing the development of the Internet and the emergence of various forms of digital interaction and information sharing occasioned by the new medium in Zimbabwe. Next, the Web sites of Newsnet, Kubatana, and New Zimbabwe.com are analyzed in terms of their content and form. Newsnet is the subsidiary of the national public broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH). Its major task is to provide news and current affairs programming to ZBH radio, TV, and online services. Kubatana is a civic organization involved in cyber activism to highlight democracy and human rights issues in the country.
KeywordsCivil Society Public Sphere Opposition Parti Critical Discourse Analysis Binary Opposition
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Allan, S. 2004. News culture. London: Open University.Google Scholar
- Anheier, H., Glasius, M., and Kaldor, M. eds. 2001. Global Civil Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Barker, C. 2000. Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Fairclough, N. 1995. Media Discourse. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
- Barker, C. 2001. Analyzing Discourse. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Fraser, N. 1992. “Rethinking the Public Sphere.” In Habermas and the Public Sphere, ed. C. Calhoun. London: MIT.Google Scholar
- Fulton, H., Huisman, R., Murphet, J., and Dunn, A. eds. 2006. Narrative and Media. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Jackson, P. 2004. “E-mail Controls Loom in Zimbabwe.” BBC News, May 31, 2004.Google Scholar
- Jensen, M. 2002. The African Internet: A Status Report. African Internet Connectivity, September. http://www3.sn.apc.org/africa.
- Jensen, M.. 2004. “The Rise of The Telecenters and Cyber Cafés in Africa.” Acacia Initiative 9 September 2004. http://www.acacia.org.za/jensen_articles.html.
- Koch, T. 1990. The News As Myth: Fact and Context in Journalism. New York: Greenwood.Google Scholar
- Lister, M., Dovey, J., Giddings, S., Grant, I., and Kelly, K. eds. 2003. New Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mazango, E. 1998. Telecommunications Sector Reform: Liberalization and Universal Service Policy in Zimbabwe. Diss., University of Oslo. [Unpublished]Google Scholar
- McQuail, D. 2005. Mass Communication Theory, 5th ed. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Moyo, J. 2007. “Price War: Zanu PF Comes to the End of the Road.” Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper, July 6, 2007. http://www.theindependent.co.zw.
- Preston, P. 2001. Reshaping Communications: Technology, Information, and Social Change, London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Price, M. 1995. Television, the Public Sphere and National Identity, Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Ranger, T. 2005. “The Rise of Patriotic Journalism in Zimbabwe and its Possible Implications.” Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 2 (1): 8–17.Google Scholar
- Wodak, R. and M. Meyer. 2004. Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis, London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Zaffiro, J. 2002. Media and Democracy in Africa: Zimbabwe, 1931–2002. Colorado Springs: International Academic Publishers Ltd.Google Scholar
Selected Web Sites
- AISI, http://www.uneca.org/aisi.Google Scholar
- Balancing Act News Update, http://www.balancingact-africa.com.Google Scholar
- Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe, http://www.econet.co.zw.Google Scholar
- Economic Commission for Africa, http://www.uneca.org.Google Scholar
- Miniwatts Marketing Group, Internet World Statistics, http://www.internetworldstats.com.Google Scholar
- International Telecommunications Union http://www.itu.int/home/index.html.Google Scholar
- Telecel Zimbabwe http://www.telecel.co.zw.Google Scholar
- Tel One http://www.telone.co.zw.Google Scholar