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The State and Public Broadcasting: Continuity and Change in Zimbabwe

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Global Media and National Policies

Part of the book series: Palgrave Global Media Policy and Business ((GMPB))

Abstract

The role of the state in public broadcasting remains strong but state– media relations are undergoing multi-pronged change which is yet to be sufficiently studied. While Flew and Waisbord (2015, p. 620) concur with the ‘continuing centrality of nation-states to media processes’ they also crucially observe that ‘We should move past the debate between “the global” and “the state” in media studies in order to better understand the interaction among competing forces’ (p. 13). In the African context, Zeleza (2009, p. 19) also reminds us that ‘media infrastructures, practices and policies are embedded in the prevailing material conditions of production, the ideologies of current political economies and the discourse of networks of particular periods’. These observations are crucial when investigating the role of the state in public broadcasting within the context of ‘local, national, and global forces’ that ‘shape media politics and policies’ (Flew and Waisbord, 2015, p. 633). This chapter makes three important arguments. The first concedes that states remain responsible for the overall policy and structure of their media markets, but argues that the public interest should guide how they control public broadcasting. Using the example of Zimbabwe and insights from elite continuity theory (Sparks, 2009), the role of the Zimbabwean state in public broadcasting is discussed in historical and contemporary terms.

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© 2016 Winston Mano

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Mano, W. (2016). The State and Public Broadcasting: Continuity and Change in Zimbabwe. In: Flew, T., Iosifidis, P., Steemers, J. (eds) Global Media and National Policies. Palgrave Global Media Policy and Business. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137493958_12

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