Home 9 Featured 9 Government grants new TV licences, diversity concerns linger

Government grants new TV licences, diversity concerns linger

20 Nov, 2020
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has awarded six television licences following public interviews held in October 2020. This is the first time that the country has licensed commercial television stations.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has awarded six television licences following public interviews held in October 2020. This is the first time that the country has licensed commercial television stations.

The newly licensed television stations are:

  1. Acacia Media Limited
  2. Channel Dzimbahwe
  3. Fairtalk Communications
  4. Jester Media
  5. Rusununguko
  6. Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN)

This licensing process effectively ends ZBC’s 40-year-old monopoly as the only television station in Zimbabwe.

MISA Zimbabwe position

While the decision to license more television stations is a welcome development, MISA Zimbabwe is worried at the lack of diversity in the granting of the TV licences.

The new TV licence holders either already hold print or broadcasting licences or are linked to the government or the governing party.

With this scenario, the country risks having a homogeneity of news and views, an anathema to democracy.

If Zimbabwe is to have a truly diverse media, there is a need for more players from different backgrounds to be granted licences.

MISA Zimbabwe notes that the BAZ will soon start the process of licensing community radio stations and is worried that if this trend continues, only players with links to the government will be granted licences, yet again.

MISA Zimbabwe, therefore, calls for the genuine liberalisation of the airwaves, where diversity and pluralism are the guiding principles in the granting of licences.

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

Share this

Related news

Cyber Bill recommitted in Senate

Cyber Bill recommitted in Senate

The Cybersecurity and Data Protection Bill has been recommitted in the Senate to attend to some errors in the Bill. The Bill has been recommitted in terms of Standing Order Number 158 to attend to some clauses after some errors were identified. Recommittal means the...

Internet access and affordability in Zimbabwe

Internet access and affordability in Zimbabwe

Internet access and affordability has been a topical issue in Zimbabwe, moreso in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic which has increased the need and use of digital tools and platforms, to access information and communicate. It is against this background that MISA...

Journalist Moyo granted bail

Journalist Moyo granted bail

Journalist Jeffrey Moyo was on 15 June 2021 granted bail on appeal by High Court judge Justice Takuva in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo. This followed the denial of bail on 31 May 2021 by Magistrate Rachel Mukanga.  Read: Journalist Moyo denied bail Moyo was...