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This dissertation investigates the notion that ZBC – TV news hour is wont to favour or promote ideas espoused by the ruling party and government at the expense of other oppositional political voices. The main thrust of this study has been to investigate how news content of ZBC’s news hour was structured especially during the 2002 Presidential Election Campaign. The investigation was done during the campaign period but the quantitative data used here only encompasses the period between December 1,2001 and March 8, 2002.
Qualitative and institutional research methods were also used in a bid to establish the nature of the relationship between the programming of news at ZBC and the various voices that were presented by the public broadcaster, especially during the election period.
How the different voices were presented is also of interest to this study. This enquiry is therefore a product of curiosity to try and investigate how the establishment and its policies influences public service television programming. As a recipient of public funds ZBC has an obligation to reflect the views and serve the information needs of all Zimbabweans.
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe argues : “This obligation to reflect a variety of views is especially strong at election times when voters depend upon the media to provide them with accurate information; both about the practicalities of how to exercise their democratic rights and the views of the different parties on the main campaign issues. ” Media Monitoring Project, Zimbabwe (2000) DEDICATION To all my family ” Prophets are never accepted in their home town ” ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This dissertation is a product of cooperation.
I received much help from many people with the process of putting this down on paper and in its printing.
First and foremost, I wish to thank my supervisor Mr Webster Muonwa without whose guidance and encouragement, this dissertation would have been yet another victim of the writer’s block. I wish to thank Mr Muonwa particularly for instilling in me the vision that at any given moment in time an academic community will always fair better than one isolated genius. Secondly, my heartfelt thanks go to Mr Pepukai Chiwewe a fellow student and roommate whom I engaged in fruitful academic arguments. I hope he will not take offence to the fact that I was using him as a sounding board for my ideas for this study.
Thirdly, this dissertation would not have been written without a number of interviews conducted with the ZBC personnel, University staff and students. I thank you all. Last but not least, I would like to thank my family. Thank you very much to my sister Elizabeth for free use of the office and the machine and of course for the loads of pocket money that kept me going. What are sisters for! TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY 1. 0 Introduction 1. 1 Background to the Study 1. 2 Statement of the Problem 1. 3 Purpose of the Study 1. 4 Research Questions 1.
5 Statement of Hypothesis 1. 6 Significance of the Study 1. 7 Assumptions 1. 8 Definition of Terms 1. 9 Scope of the Study 1. 10 Summary and Conclusion CHAPTER 2: THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK 2. 0 Introduction 2. 1 The Public Service Broadcasting Theory 2. 2 Public Broadcasting Models 2. 3 Policy Models in the Evolution of Broadcasting 2. 4 In Search of Common Ground : The Public Service Broadcasting Theory and the Public Sphere Theory 2. 5 Economic Liberalisation and Corporate Penetration of Public Broadcasting Towards the Privatisation and Refuedalisation of the Public Sphere 2.
6 Towards the Privatisation and Refuedalisation of the Public Sphere 2. 7 Public Service Broadcasting versus Politics and Marketing: Implications for Communication Policy 2. 8 Summary and Conclusion CHAPTER 3: METHODS OF DATA GATHERING 3. 0 Introduction 3. 1 Research Methods Used 3. 1. 1 Content Analysis and Justification 3. 1. 2 The Sampling Process of Newshour 3. 1. 3 The Coding Schedule of ZBC-TV Newshour 3. 1. 4 Textual and Discourse Analysis of Sampled Broadcasts 3. 2 Institutional Research Methods 3. 2. 1 Interviews 3. 2. 2 Analysis of “10 Golden Rules” 3. 3 Audience Research 3. 3.
1 Focus Group Interview 3. 3. 2 Audience Participatory Observation 3. 4 Limitations of Methodology 3. 5 Summary and Conclusion CHAPTER 4: PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA 4. 0 Introduction 4. 1 Content Analysis : Presentation of Quantitative Data 4. 1. 1 Analysis and Interpretation of Quantitative Data 4. 1. 2 Textual Analysis and Interpretation 4. 2 Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Institutional Research Findings 4. 2. 1 Interviews 4. 2. 2 The Golden Rules 4. 2. 3 The Orga.nisational Structure of ZBC and Implications on Programming 4. 2. 4 Description of Organogram.
4. 2. 5 Limitations of Organogram 4. 3 Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Audience Research Findings 4. 3. 1Focus Group Interview 4. 3. 2 Participatory Observation / Ethnography 4. 4 Summary and Conclusion CHAPTER 5 : SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 5. 0 Introduction 5. 1 Summary of Study 5. 2 Research Conclusions 5. 3 Recommendations 5. 3. 1 The Need for an Independent Regulatory 5. 3. 1 Deregulation and the Three Tier System 5. 3. 3 Public Service Broadcasting : A Luxury or a Necessity for Zimbabwe? 5. 4 Summary and Conclusion ACRONYMS AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
AIPPA Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act BBC British Broadcasting Corporation BSA Broadcasting Services Act BOA Board of Directors BOG Board of Governors CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation DSTV Digital Satellite Television ESAP Economic Structural Adjustment Programme ESC Electoral Supervisory Commission IBA International Broadcasting Association IMF International Monetary Fund LDC Less Developed Countries MDC Movement for Democratic Change MISA Media Institute of Southern Africa NAGG National Alliance for Good Governance NCA National Costitutional Assembly
NIT New Information Technology PBS Public Broadcasting Station POSA Public Order and Security Act PSB Public Service Broadcasting RBC Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation SABC South African Broadcasting Corporation SAP Structural Adjustment Programme SW Short Wave Radio UNESCO United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation VCR Video Cassette Recorder VOA Voice of America ZAMPS Zimbabwe All Media Programmes Survey ZANU Zimbabwe African National Union ZANU PF Zimbabwe African Union Patriotic Front ZAPU Represented in the study by Paul Siwela ZBC Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
ZCTU Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions ZEXCOM Zimbabwe Ex-combatants Company ZIMRIGHTS Zimbabwe Rights ZIMPREST Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation ZRF Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation ZTV Zimbabwe Television CHAPTER 1 Introduction and Background to the Study 1. 0 Introduction Most African countries, among them Zimbabwe in the 1990`s, implemented the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) under the influence of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this contributed significantly to an Increased focus on civil society and the role of the media in Africa. Undertaking.
SAP`s meant embracing democratisation and political pluralism, this encouraged a reorientation of media policies. The theoretical approach of the liberal representative democracy and its ideals became the main source of influence. However, Zimbabwe like most African countries has denounced the SAP as ineffective and thrown out the programme in favour of home grown economic solutions. Central to this investigation is the need to establish whether in the case of Zimbabwe, the baby has not been thrown out together with the bath water. Agreeably, liberal representative democracy and the theory of a free press is not a universal ideal.
At the centre of programming at ZBC is the pertinent question of how various forces at play influence the nature of public communication in Zimbabwe. This dissertation will therefore study the nexus that exists between ZBC-TV news hour editorial output and its democratic obligation to reflect a variety of views which is especially strong at election times when the voters depend on the media to provide them with accurate information, both about the practicalities of how to exercise their democratic rights and the views of the different parties on the main campaign issues. 1. 1 Background to the Study
It is generally said that ZBC-TV news hour bulletin is used solely for promoting, the political interests of the ruling party and government by the ruling elite. The incumbent government is alleged to be abusing the public broadcaster (PSB) in an attempt to preserve or enforce the present proportions of political power. Bill Saidi (The Daily News on Sunday 2003:12) alleges that it is the handling of the local news that will eventually kill the ZBC, if it has not already done so. He adds, even children know what to expect and some routinely switch to digital satellite television (DSTV) or the videocassette recorder (VCR).
A view which point one of the charter of the world press freedom – committee states: “Censorship, direct or indirect is unacceptable, thus laws and practices restricting the right of the news media freely to gather and distribute information must be abolished and government authorities national or local, must not interfere with the content of print or broadcast news. ” While members of the viewing audience may expect the daily newspapers they buy to reflect their own political viewpoints, they have every right to demand that those involved in television news take seriously their responsibilities for accuracy, fairness and decency.
So while it may be considered a denial of personal freedom, it is not too much to ask any television journalist, voluntarily to stay free from active and formal allegiance to any political party or sensitive cause. The political content of the ZBC TV news hour is therefore a critical, well qualified and frequently discussed issue in a quest to understand not only the political content of public service broadcasting (PSB) in Zimbabwe but also some of the reasons behind the accelerating demise of the public service ideal.
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