The role of the media in the promotion and development of languages
Ian Smith knew that he could influence the thinking of people through using their own languages and hence control them and stay in power. In independent Zimbabwe, the ZBC has failed to emulate this, probably as a political strategy by the ruling regime. There is only one radio station (Radio 4) that has attempted to broadcast in various languages other than English, Ndebele and Shona. Still this has not been adequate as these broadcasts are allocated very little time and the communities that they are directed to do not even have access to local radio stations as ZBC only covers 56% of the country.
The media in Zimbabwe has been used by politicians to propagate hate language and divide communities. Local print media has also failed the people as the people responsible for running the newspaper have one way or the other become answerable to political parties and report according to the whims of the politicians.
As a recommendation, the speaker put forward the idea that Zimbabwean media could copy the model of South African media where all languages had more or less equal airtime and where community radio stations are available for the local communities.