Greener Journal of Internet, Information and Communication Systems

Open Access

Chiridza and Chitsamatanga

Greener Journal of Internet, Information and Communication Systems. Vol. 3 (2), pp. 014-019, May 2017.  

ISSN: 2354-2373 © 2017 Greener Journals

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 032217042


(DOI: http://doi.org/10.15580/GJIICS.2017.2.032217042)

 

Examining the Place and Scope of Social Media in Contemporary Zimbabwe Politics

 

Peter Chiridza*1 & Jonathan Robert Mauto Chitsamatanga2

                                   

Department of Journalism and Media Studies; Zimbabwe Open University, Mashonaland West Region, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.


Abstract


This paper examined the place, scope, power, or lack thereof, of social media in Zimbabwean politics. This is so because there are a lot of problems that can be observed if one takes a close look at the relationship between social media and politics in Zimbabwe today. It has been observed that some political actors do not like or distrust social media. The research sought to ascertain whether social media can be seen as an all-powerful platform capable of being used to overthrow sitting governments like what happened during the Arab springs. All this was done to determine if social media can be powerful in Zimbabwe and other typical African countries with a large rural populace without access to the internet due to poverty and sometimes ignorance and lack of interest. Discourse analysis was used to examine political social media messages in Zimbabwe in the year 2016. Face to face interviews and Focus Group Discussions were employed to engage ZANU PF political actors to get their opinions concerning these issues under study. The research established that social media has become a partner for many political actors in Zimbabwe so much that it can no longer be ignored. Its power is however limited to urban centres where many citizens have access to the internet whilst in rural areas not much people pay heed to it. For the ruling ZANU PF party, social media is more of a partner in terms of informing and mobilising supporters but its power seems to end there, as supporters of the party would rather trust and listen to their leaders when they speak to them at rallies than trust messages that come through social media platforms.


Key words:
social media, politics and power, mediation.


Post-review Rundown

View/get involved, click [Post-Review Page]


References


Alejandro,J (2010) Journalism in the age of social media ,Oxford: University of Oxford.

 

Auvinen A, (2016) Social Media-The New Power of Political Influence, Centre for European Studies, Brussels.

 

Berger A, A (1991) Media Research Techniques, Sage, New, York.

 

Boulianne S, (2015) Social Media Use and Participation: A Meta-analysis Of Current Research, Information, Communication & Society, 18:5, 524-538, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2015.1008542

 

Happer and Phillo (2013), The Role of the Media in the Construction of Public Belief and Social Change, Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Vol. 1(1), 321–336, doi:10.5964/jspp.v1i1.96

 

Howard P. N, Duffy E, Freelon, D, Hussain, M, Mari, W, and Mazaid, M (2013) What Was the Role of Social Media during the Arab Spring? www.pitpi.org

 

Koker P, (2013) Politics and Social Media: Why Eastern Europes’s Politicians Are all atwitter, http//blogs.ucl.ac.uk

 

Leedy, P.D (1997). Practical Research Planning and Design. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

 

Lievrouw, L. A (2009) New Media, Mediation, and Communication Study, Information, Communication & Society, 12:3, 303-325, DOI: 10.1080/13691180802660651

 

Lindsey A, (2013) What the Arab Spring Tells Us about the Future of Social Media in Revolutionary Movements, Small Wars Journal July 2013.

 

Margetss H, (2016) the Unpredictability of Politics in the Age of Social Media, Eurozine, www.eurozine.com

 

Mazzoleni, G & Schulz, W (1999) Mediatization of Politics: A Challenge for Democracy? Political Communication, 16:3, 247-261, DOI: 10.1080/105846099198613

 

Phillips A, (2016) Social Media Is Changing the Face of Politics- and its Not Good News, The Conversation, United Kingdom.

 

Richard F, (2009) Symbolic Mediation of Experience, Communication, and General Semantics: In Praise of Clearing Mediated Cloud, ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, April 2009

 

Tenhunen S, and Karvelyte V, (2015) The Role Played By Social Media In Political Participation And Electoral Campaigns, European Parliamentary Research Service Blog.

 

Van Den Bulck, J (1999) Mediation: Toward a Media Theory of the Social Construction of Reality, Communicatio, 25:1-2, 3-11, DOI: 10.1080/02500169908537875.

 

Wolfsfeld G, Segev E, and Sheafer T, (2013) Social Media and the Arab Spring: Politics Comes First, The International Journal Of Press/Politics XX(X) 1–23