'We want youth-sensitive radio'

HARARE - Young Zimbabweans yesterday called for space on radio and challenged all stakeholders to make concerted efforts to mainstream youth issues in radio programming.

The youths were speaking at the ‘youth-radio indaba’ that was called by the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (Zacras) in Harare to discuss the role of the youth in radio programming.

The youth said that radio should play its role by educating, informing and entertaining the youth who constitute the majority of the Zimbabwean population at over 60 percent.

They also called on the government to “walk the talk” by liberalising the country’s airwaves which would pave way for the participation of the youth in the production of radio content as well as empowering them to own media.

The indaba was attended by youths working with community radio stations, journalists from various media houses, youth organisations and veteran journalists who also shared their experiences with the youth.

The youths said in order to discuss the genuine potential for radio stations to empower youth, it was necessary to engage with youths, both as producers and consumers.

They said radio should provide the youth with a platform for debate, news and useful social information.

It must aim to challenge the stigmatised image of the youth by providing non-stereotypical and more positive stories about them, and to provide media training and job opportunities for young people.

“Radio should provide us with the platform to explore opportunities on all fronts be it political, economic or otherwise. The radio should be able to make the youth see greater possibilities in life,” said Collen Chambwera, who is studying media at the Midlands State University.

Chris Chivhinge, a journalist with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, challenged the youths to actively participate in influencing radio content across all radio stations while media expert Takura Zhangazha urged the youth to take advantage of the 75 percent local content by involving themselves in radio production.

The radio indaba is part of the media diversity campaign that Zacras is coordinating with other partners in the media whose aim is to make government and development partners respond to the needs of young people as well as empowering them to express themselves and enhance their communication skills.

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