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Reduced to memes, jokes, trends and trivia: Zimbabwe’s entertainment media space needs new curators

Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE), a gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.

Reduced to memes, jokes, trends and trivia: Zimbabwe’s entertainment media space needs new curators

The media landscape in Zimbabwe is awash with a plethora of content, ranging from the mundane to the sensational. However, amidst this abundance, there is a noticeable lack of good curators who can help to shape and elevate the quality of discourse.

by Plot Mhako

This is particularly evident in the realm of social media, where platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have become breeding grounds for trivia, memes, and jokes. While these forms of lighthearted entertainment can have their place, they often drown out more important and substantive conversations.

The same can be said for radio stations, many of which have become havens for trash talk shows and podcasts. While these programs can be entertaining, they rarely offer anything in the way of meaningful insights or analysis.

As a result, the public is left with a dearth of high-quality content that can inform and engage them. This is a disservice to the nation, as the media plays a vital role in shaping public opinion and discourse.

We need to also document and create more media content that is proudly Zimbabwean but can make a global appeal and relevance. If we do not rethink our approach and adjust we can lag behind sharing jokes, memes and focusing on trivia while the rest of the world is moving into spaces such as AI, AR, VR, XR and other new creative media forms creating billion dollar industries”

In an era where anyone with a smartphone can blog and create content, the respect for journalism ethics and the ability to tell unique and credible, high quality content becomes a critical factor.

In order to address this problem, there is a need for more good curators to emerge in the Zimbabwean media and digital space. These individuals would be responsible for identifying and promoting content that is both informative, entertaining and engaging. They would also be tasked with fostering a culture of critical thinking and debate.

The emergence of good curators would be a boon to the Zimbabwean media landscape, the creatives and content. We could be seeing the next music and film super stars emerging from Zimbabwe. It would help to ensure that the public has access to a wider range of viewpoints and perspectives. It would also help to raise the standard of discourse, quality of our creative products and promote a more informed and engaged citizenry.

We can not wait to celebrate and write about amazing Zimbabwean creatives only when they have made it globally yet we never gave them media space and attention at home”

Here is a classic example: Not the most trending Zimbabwean artist, not the most played on Zimbabwean radios, not the most hyped at home but certainly one of the most streamed (globally) and one of the most internationally touring artist / Dj. Dj Nitefreak lives in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.”

There is a need for media organizations in Zimbabwe to rethink their models and approach towards content. In the past, these organizations have been largely reliant on advertising revenue. However, the rise of digital media has led to a decline in advertising revenue. As a result, media organizations need to find new ways to generate income. 

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In the past, traditional media outlets acted as gatekeepers, controlling the flow of information to the public. However, the rise of new media has led to a more decentralized and democratized media landscape. Anyone with an internet connection can now publish and distribute information, and audiences are no longer reliant on traditional media outlets for their news and information.

Traditional media outlets now have to shift from gatekeeping to curation, focusing on identifying and promoting high-quality content from a variety of sources.

One way to do this is to focus on producing high-quality content that people are willing to pay for. This could include in-depth reporting, investigative journalism, and compelling video content. By producing content that is both informative, engaging and entertaining, media organizations can attract a loyal audience and corporate market that is willing to support their work.

The creative, media and entertainment space in Zimbabwe has an untapped multi-million dollar revenue potential and has the power to re-imagine the national image, inspire people and new possibilities.”

This is an opinion piece by Plot Mhako the editor of earGROUND AFRICA. He writes in his personal capacity and all views expressed here are personal.

Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE)
A gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.
Truly, for the culture.

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