Media News - Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Zimbabwe's first commercial radio station started broadcasting on Monday amid skepticism that its programming may not capture independent views as it is linked to President Robert Mugabe’s party. Star FM radio, owned by Zimpapers, a government stable that publishes newspapers pushing Zanu PF's agenda, was licensed last year together with ZiFM, which has yet to go on air. Station manager Admire Taderera announced that their programming will include music and news. Star FM ends a three-decade monopoly by the state-operated Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. The licensing of the two broadcasters last year, ahead of other applicants, one of which was heavily favored by civil society sparked demands for the dissolution of the licensing authority, seen as biased. Many say Star FM and ZiFM are an extension of the Zanu PF propaganda machinery. President Mugabe's Zanu PF has maintained a grip on both print and electronic media over the years, shutting out and frustrating potential independent players. It was forced to accept reform of the media sector and licence private daily newspapers by a power-sharing agreement signed in 2009 that includes the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change. But observers say true reform in the broadcasting sector has yet to be realized. (VOA News)
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