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SOCIAL media activists in Zimbabwe last week launched a ferocious attack on the mainstream media for failing to embrace new trends.

Speaking at a workshop organised by the Media Centre, Ernest Mudzengi lambasted the mainstream media for sensationalising stories and lacking balance.

Mudzengi lashed out at what he called “the rally journalism” that has come to define the mainstream’s approach to news.

The approach, he said, has often seen one-sided stories being passed off as news.

“These newspapers are fast losing relevancy. You can tell from the headline that there is no story,” Mudzengi said.

Admire Mare, a PhD student of social media, said digital journalism is fast taking the space without which the mainstream media would not survive.

“The mainstream media takes most of its stories from the social media. Let us show the mainstream media how to report,” Mare said.

He said most people were beginning to take social media seriously.

Nigel Mugamu, the founder of 263 Chat, told delegates that there is no need to rely on the mainstream media.

"There is no need to rely on mainstream media since digital journalism can fairly contribute to national development,” said Mugamu.

Currently Zimbabwe has up to 25 percent internet penetration rate, up from the 0.3 percent that was recorded by researchers in 2000.

But despite the growth of digital media, editors and newspaper publishers in Zimbabwe remain reluctant to invest in digital journalism.


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