In a landmark development of improved media plurality, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has announced the licensing of another eight community radio stations across the country.
To date, 14 community radio stations have been licensed. In a statement, ZACRAS, a membership-based non-profit making association established in 2003 to promote community radio interests in Zimbabwe and which has since its formation been a partner of Fojo Media Institute (Fojo) and International Media Support (IMS), said the licensing of eight additional community radio stations was a positive step towards the achievement of broadcasting diversity and plurality in the country.
“Over the years, ZACRAS has been advocating for the licensing of community radio stations in Zimbabwe. We therefore commend the Government of Zimbabwe for taking evident measures towards ensuring broadcasting diversity and plurality in the sector” the statement reads.
ZACRAS added that the existence of a three-tier broadcasting system comprising public, commercial and community broadcasting was beneficial in that it widens citizens’ information choices.
“The licensing of community radio stations will therefore enhance citizens’ access to information on socio-economic developments including fostering accountable and responsive governance. Radio’s strategic role remains of paramount importance as witnessed by its role in aiding different sectors, central Government included, in disaster mitigation, response and recovery” ZACRAS said.
Since 2004, through alliances and innovation Fojo Media Institute and International Media Support have been promoting diverse, free and independent media contributing to positive change and better societies in Zimbabwe. Together with IMS, Fojo has supported the capacitation of 22 community radio initiatives under ZACRAS in anticipation of broadcasting licenses – eight of which are now a dream come true.