Zimbabwe Review

Reflections on Zimbabwe

About the new Zim broadcasting station

Posted by CM on June 20, 2007

May 27 2007 in the Sunday Mail, Harare :

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings made a major breakthrough when it launched a short wave radio and television station which will broadcast to all corners of the world.

General manager of the new station, Voice of Zimbabwe/ TV Channel 104, Happison Muchechetere, said the test would run for three weeks during which time management will be fine tuning programming and receiving feedback from listeners from all over the world. He said while the station would initially begin with radio broadcasts, television broadcasts were expected to begin before the end of the year.


He said the test run had been highly successful and the station had received feedback not only from Zimbabwe but also from as far as Botswana and South Africa. He said the country’s first world station would broadcast on short wave band. Broadcasts are intended to reach target audiences as far afield as Australia, Europe and the United States.

He said Zimbabwe’s first world broadcasting services mandate would not be to spread propaganda, but to give a balanced account of events in the country through unbiased news reports, analysis and discussions.

******************

It will be interesting to listen to and view the content of this new government effort to win hearts and minds. But I find it painfully sad that the Mugabe government still hopes they can make any appreciable difference in how they are perceived through a station like this.

They have tried all sorts of public relations things over the years, with no success whatsoever. Secondly, the large and growing numbers of disaffected Zimbabweans running away from their country and with little positive to say about their rulers will counter any attempts at public relations and propaganda. Third, the clear, objectively measurable dimunition in the country’s prospects and state is the strongest counter to any positive message the government hopes to derive from this waste of time and resources.

The most effective “propaganda” would be be to simply show to the world that despite diplomatic isolation, being cut off from international credit and all the other factors, real and imagined, that the government claims it is up against, things are working for the benefit of the people. When those same people resoundingly say “hell, no, the country is a mess,” and you must resort to public brutality to contain their restlessness, what possible good can a radio or TV station do you?

I find it painfully, childishly naive for the Mugabe government to really believe that they can erase or hide all the ways in which Zimbabwe is no longer working prpoerly. What self-delusion.

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