Zimbabwe media stakeholders celebrate radio in Chiredzi
Zimbabwe celebrated World Radio Day with the main event at Tshovani stadium in Chiredzi township under the national theme, ‘Connecting communities through radio’. The celebrations brought together media stakeholders from across Zimbabwe to celebrate the recent licensing of 14 community radios inclusive of Avuxeni in Chiredzi. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services led the Chiredzi celebrations with the support of media stakeholders.
Speaking at the celebrations, Hon Monica Mutsvangwa Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services highlighted the importance of radio to communities. She said, “Research shows that community radio stations are one of the most effective means and alternative forms of communication for the development of rural communities. They have immense potential to bring positive change in all aspects of community development. They reach many hitherto unreached areas across vast geographic distances, mostly remote and isolated and are, therefore, best placed to reach out to communities”.
UNESCO Regional Advisor for Communication and Information, Mr. Yusuph Al Amin commended the country’s strides in developing the community radios sector. “We are very proud of developments in Community Media in Zimbabwe. We are also proud to be able to contribute to the development of the sector in this country. UNESCO is committed to the development of free, independent and pluralistic media”, he said.
Community media, whether broadcast or online, are crucial to ensuring media pluralism and freedom of expression, and are an indicator of a healthy democratic society. As an alternative medium to public and commercial media, as well as social media, they are characterized by their accountability to, and participation of, the communities they serve. They have a greater focus on local issues of concern and facilitate public platforms for debate and discussion.
On the sidelines of the main event, Mr Nick Mangwana, had a panel discussion with MISA Zimbabwe, BAZ, and ZBC on Radio for her, which focused on advocating for the inclusion of women in politics in media coverage. MISA was calling for equal representation of women in the media.
Chiredzi schools were given donations by the Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services that included 320 books, 500 exercise books with the history of Zimbabwe at the back, 500 heroes guide, which have history of all Zimbabwe heroes. Additionally, Sunrise Sign Language Academy donated 40hrs of sign language training for teachers of schools that took part in the celebrations.
Media stakeholders exhibited at the venue where local community members were given branded World Radio Day t-shirts and masks among other branded items from various radio stations from across Zimbabwe.