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Making my mark in the communication landscape

I heard about World Pulse from a friend who has been part of it for some time now. She spoke of the immense opportunities that the platform had to offer for women exploring new media technologies and how through its website and outreach processes – World Pulse was reaching out to thousands of women across the globe. I saw this as an opportunity to tap into an audience that could both understand and care about what I had to say as a woman. As a blogger for human rights and social justice, finding sufficient audiences in a country where freedom of expression is generally repressed should generally be easy. However, majority of Zimbabweans have access to mainstream media, mainly newspapers, radio and TV, all which the government has taken serious measures to control. Currently, the country has one state owned television station. The ‘official’ radio channels also belong to the state and so do a lot of newspapers with licenses to operate.

Web 2.0 has provided new opportunities and new channels for new media, which can be harnessed to provide an alternative voice apart from that of government propaganda. These are platforms that I sought to exploit in order to free my stifled voice. In my early life; I trained and worked as a journalist for the State owned newspaper and mouthpiece – the Herald. Though the experience was relevant, it was neither fulfilling nor enriching. I encountered frustrations of a hostile male environment and worse, half the time I did not recognize my stories when they appeared in the paper. The stories were so carefully and meticulously edited to often speak out of the original context and made to reflect the ruling party’s policies. Even though I loved the journalism profession - my heart went out the window because of this, and for a time I wanted nothing but to leave the profession.

I later managed to join the non-profit sector – working for a civil society organization that today still advocates for human rights and social justice. But then again, as much as I enjoyed this new life – the journalist in me suffered; craved expression and missed the rush of sharing information with audiences. Then I discovered blogging through a local Zimbabwean human rights organization called Kubatana. From there I never went back and have continued to seek out audiences, sharing ideas and thoughts that make one feel that with the cyber pen – I am reaching out and making my mark with a small contribution to help shape the communication landscape and the world.

With web 2.0, I have overcome publishing bureaucracy of old while the audience plays editor, critic and reader. When I write a good piece – they give due praise; when I get any of my facts wrong – they sternly rebuke such mistakes. Importantly, I write in a way that is easily digestible and accessible to thousands of people across the globe.

Comments

YAOtieno's picture

I hear you

]Hi,

I can totally identify with this statement - the journalist in me suffered; craved expression and missed the rush of sharing information with audiences.

I am here for the same reason.

Cheers,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Maggs's picture

I am so feeling your story

I am so feeling your story Stash, the disappointment when you see your by line but don't recognise the words as yours is tremendous. I think the information revolution is the best thing yet, to ever happen to our profession.

maggs

MaDube's picture

Stashsays

And so Stash speaks her mind. Your blog and the work you did with Kubatana is impressive. I never got the hang of blogging when we were in India but you guys (Fungai and yourself) did so well out of that opportunity. Keep writing lovey.

lina_hr's picture

Voice of Our Future

Hello Stash,

Well done in expressing your challenges and how did you manage to find a solution to voice your ideas in different media platforms. Also, being a journalist does not necessary mean to work in newspaper. We are all citizen journalists and we can practice our profession in many media channels. Your blogging experience with the Zimbabwean Kubatana is a great example.

Wish you all the best and looking forward to read your future blog entries!

Voice of Our Future Volunteer,

Lina

mrbeckbeck's picture

Well said

Hi Stash,

I love your writing style. Like you say, it is easily understood around the world. Your journey has been extensive, and I feel that in many ways you have so much to share with the world still. I know that I would be happy to learn more about Zimbabwe from you.

I look forward to reading more of your work, here and on your blog.
Best,
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

Stash's picture

a little ill

Thanks so much guys for all the support. Couldnt respond earlier was taken in a little ill, all the best guys

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