Hybrid media system and the July 2018 elections in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

Trust Matsilele, Admire Mare

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter investigates how, why and for what purposes political actors and citizens in Zimbabwe used traditional and digital media, especially Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, before, during and after the 30 July 2018 elections. Relying on a combination of virtual ethnography and in-depth interviews, this chapter provides new evidence of the sophisticated appropriation of the hybrid media system in a context where over 60 percent of the electorate was made up of youthful voters. Building on Mare's (2018) previous research on Facebook and electoral campaigns in Zimbabwe, this chapter cautions against the reification of digital media as the "silver bullet" with transformative power to democratize and transform toxic electoral politics in Zimbabwe.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Media and Elections in Africa, Volume 1
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical Perspectives and Election Campaigns
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9783030305536
ISBN (Print)9783030305529
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Campaigns
  • Chamisa
  • Cyber-propaganda
  • Cyber-troops
  • Digital media
  • Fake news
  • Hybrid media system
  • Mnangagwa
  • Trolling
  • Zimbabwe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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