Reward Mushayabasa

Doctoral Researcher
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I have been involved in the media for a period spanning over two decades. I started as a reporter and then rose through the ranks to become editor of a Community Newspaper in Zimbabwe. I also worked as a sub-editor for the English News desk of Zimbabwe’s sole national broadcaster ZBC (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation) before joining the Harare Polytechnic where I worked as Principal Lecturer. In 2002 I was later promoted to Head of Division of Mass Communication. Over the years I have attended journalism training workshops for trainers in Germany, South Africa, Sweden and Zambia.

Doctoral Project

Democratic Transition and use of Digital Media Activism in Africa: A Zimbabwe Case Study

There have been noticeable ‘winds of change’ on the Southern African political landscape over the past two years. We have seen long entrenched dictatorships in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe being replaced in a democratic transition. The same changes also happened in South Africa where President Jacob Zuma was recalled by the ruling African National Council (ANC) party for committing misdemeanours while in office. He was later replaced by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa. Against this backdrop, we have also seen some citizens increasingly turning to digital media activism to create free spaces for political and social commentaries on developments in their countries. This study will be based on the Zimbabwe case study and will critically evaluate the use of digital media activism in the country. The study will focus on three critical periods: the last term of office of the Mugabe era (from 2013 to November 2017); the Transitional period after the ‘soft coup’ (17 November 2017 to 31 July 2018); and the post Mugabe era (1 August 2018 to date). Using Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA), semi-structured interviews and the framing analysis, the corpus for the study will comprise visual, verbal and multimodal/multimedia materials from social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and online news platforms for four Zimbabwe legacy media (The Herald, The Chronicle, The Daily News and Newsday). In addition, the corpus will also include include materials from the following online news platforms for the Zimbabwe diasporic community: NewZimbabwe.com and NehandaRadio.com