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Facebook and the faraway - the need for multiple strategies in Zimbabwe Glocal Nomad Seminar October 7 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Facebook and the faraway - the need for multiple strategies in Zimbabwe Glocal Nomad Seminar October 7 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Facebook and the faraway - the need for multiple strategies in Zimbabwe Glocal Nomad Seminar October

2 Working in a media hostile environment President Robert Mugabe has for 30 years used state media as one of his most important tools to stay in power Private and ”opposition” media – including ICT – is therefore seen and treated as a major threat IMS operates at two levels: Support for Zimbabwe Media Strategy, including national and international coordination Support for individual media and media organisations Burnt delivery truck for privately owned ”The Zimbabwean”

3 Trevor Ncube, owner of two weeklies and the only independent daily in Zimbabwe, on Facebook this week:

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6 ZimbabweAfrica Internet penetration12,2%10,9% User growth %2357% ZimbabweAfrica Population in rural areas65%61% Despite crisis, Zimbabweans are on par with Africa - but ITC coverage does not reach the faraway

7 Zimbabwe is home to Strive Masiyiwa – a leading African cellphone tycoon The number of cellphones in Zimbabwe has grown to 3-4 mio. in a population of 11,6 mio. despite the economical crunch Internet providers are gearing up with 4G and new cables to the world Yes, we can- but some can’t The penetration into rural areas is still limited for both internet and cellphones Few can afford a smartphone The state maintains an official monopoly on radio and TV This means that the majority has little chance to make informed choices One nation, two realities

8 Fascination of ICT paired with investment in world’s oldest mass media: The newspaper This makes both financial and publicistic sense in a country starved of reliable information ICT is often an issue of preaching to the converted, urban elite Democratisation demands traditional and alternative media The other face of the Facebooker

9 IMS’ overall vision “The right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the free and uncensored flow of information, are enjoyed by everyone” IMS’ overall mission “Strengthen the capacity of media to reduce conflict, strengthen democracy and facilitate dialogue” Media as a tool rather than a goal

10 IMS’ overall objective in Zimbabwe Citizens ability to participate in the change and development of Zimbabwean society enhanced by building an independent and vibrant media sector (mainstream and alternative) Media as a tool rather than a goal

11 Taking advantage of the high level of education and tradition for innovation Numerous and often cheeky challenges to oppressive regime The urban sophisticationThe rural back-to-basics Community publishing lays democratic foundation and builds peace ”Pirate” radios reaching millions on shortwave from abroad Walking on two legs The new frontier

12 The urban sophistication Simple and free software for phone-in news services, information and even radio plays Attempts by authorities to label initative as ”broadcasting” that would demand a license ICT is sophisticated enough to be seen as a threat by government: Spam filter at Reserve Bank catches any mentioning of ”Morgan Tsvangirai” Journalists’ fired after their accounts were hacked Customers arrested at internet café from where insulting Mugabe was sent See more on

13 The rural back-to-basics ”Pirate” shortwave radios fill information gap Community radios broadcast on shortwave and distribute CDs SMS services supplement radios – ”news in 160 characters” Booklets on democracy, human rights and peacebuilding Built on consultations with communitites – and brought back as basis for workshops in print runs of s Book titles as ”Follow the river and you will reach the sea” are far from the lingo of the new, urban ITC generation - but empowerment and peacebuilding in political hotspots and violent ”no-go areas” are impressive This is ”social media” of a very different kind The African Community Publishing and Development Trust:

14 Thank you


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