License community radio stations — Zacras

HARARE - Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (Zacras) has said it welcomes efforts by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) to license new commercial radio stations but said community radio licensing must also be a key priority.

While applauding the move called for applications for commercial radio station licenses, Zacras said Baz must consider that a complete, diverse system, as espoused in the African Charter on Broadcasting, should also include a community broadcasting sector.

Gift Mambipiri, Zacras  chairperson, said, “As such, community radio licensing must be a priority and only then can we talk about a diverse and pluralistic three-tier broadcasting system comprising of public, commercial and community broadcasting.”

Baz in October last year invited applications for commercial radio stations and announced that it had
received 21 applications from across the country ahead of its January 7, 2014 deadline.

Mambipiri hopes that the call was an indication of the government’s desire to accord space to new players and voices in the quest to have a diverse and pluralistic broadcasting system.

“It is of great importance that Zimbabwe, whose Constitution seeks to promote freedom of expression and the media, makes strides to attain a liberal and diverse broadcasting industry that enables communities and people’s voices to be heard for the country’s development,” Mambipiri said.

Whereas there have been concerns around the skewed composition of Baz, Zacras hoped that the licensing authority will make efforts to ensure effective and genuine diversity by awarding licences to new players and attaining a pluralistic system.

“The diversity we seek is one which manifests in terms of editorial approach, participation and ownership,” he said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.