How to listen to the news in Zimbabwe

July 30, 2014, 10:49am

 

How to listen to the news in Zimbabwe

Our broadcasters, State or otherwise, tend to tell the news in a somewhat predictable fashion. Tired of recycled, stale, one-sided news? Here are a few tips to get you on your way

Recycling news

This is a speciality.  Bulletins are edited then aired again for a whole week.  What the President says in a speech at the Heroes Acre on Sunday will be edited and revised each day for the whole week to give the impression he said many things.  To beat this, ignore the first report of the bulletin (they always report about the President first).

Objectivity

Since some seniors at the media house are political activists masquerading as journos, objectivity is rare in the reportage.  To deal with that, Google the story online.  There are more objective news sites telling a more objective Zimbabwean story.

Repeated bulletins

On radio, what you hear at 0600hrs is what they broadcast the whole day.  It seems the analogue system needs a day to upload new stuff.  To spare yourself the boring repeats, listen either to the news early morning or in the evening.

One-sided analysis

When the analyst is not Dr. Mahoso, an information ministry official or an editor from a parastatal, it is a well-known ZANU PF chef seeking political mileage.  Turn to alternative online sources for a clearer picture.

Stale news

You will hear the words ‘has’ or ‘recently’ used frequently.  It indicates the news is stale and they are ashamed of saying the date.  It is not unusual since the top priority is reporting political events ahead of other pressing national issues. 

Figures and numbers

Phrases and words like ‘several’, ‘thousands’, ‘scores’ or ‘hordes’ are used to mask low attendances.  At well-attended events, the figures are more exact.  When they do not say exact figures, just know it was a poorly attended little meeting.

In summary for the most accurate accounts of what is going on in the country, turn off the radio and go online.

By Ittai Bryan Matthew Nyamawuya-Masanga for Kalabash Media