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The ‘independent’ press and the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe: A critical analysis of the banned Daily News

Author:

Dumisani Moyo

Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo
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Abstract

The closure of The Daily News, Zimbabwe’s only ‘independent’ newspaper in 2003 attracted both local and worldwide condemnation as the height of the Zimbabwe government’s intolerance of diverse viewpoints. This paper critically analyses the circumstances surrounding the closure of The Daily News and argues that to a great degree, and in various ways, the paper contributed to its own closure, not least because of the hidden motives and ineptitude of its management. Despite immense contribution to opening up the democratic space in Zimbabwe, The Daily News had, right from the beginning, inherent problems that conspired with the political environment leading to its closure in 2003. The paper also argues that foreign ownership and foreign funding of media in developing countries can lead to the erosion of the necessary legitimacy that these media need to compete on the local market. It argues that while the independent press has undoubtedly played a crucial role in the democratisation process, they have failed to temper their newfound freedom with responsibility.

How to Cite: Moyo, D., (2005). The ‘independent’ press and the fight for democracy in Zimbabwe: A critical analysis of the banned Daily News. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 2, pp.109–128. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.45
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Published on 01 Feb 2005.
Peer Reviewed

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