New media, pirate radio and the creative appropriation of technology in Zimbabwe: Case of Radio Voice of the People

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the creative appropriation of new media technologies by the producers of a pirate radio station (Radio Voice of the People) beaming into Zimbabwe from South Africa. In particular the article explores the news production process and the ways in which new technologies have transformed audience reception practices. Radio VOP has deployed multiple alternative transmission strategies that have rendered Zanu PF's claims to communication sovereignty obsolete. This article argues that radio as a medium of communication has adapted and appropriated digital technologies to extend its reach while opening up novel platforms of audience participation. The survival of the pirate radio since 2002 (even after its Harare studio was bombed) demonstrates its tenacity and resilience in the face of brutal repression. There are, however, limitations to the reach of pirate radio, and this article shows that its interactive website promotes elite participation because of the digital divide pervading developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of African Cultural Studies
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • audience reception
  • developing countries
  • new media technologies
  • pirate radio
  • radio convergence
  • Radio Voice of the People

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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