Development journalism in Zimbabwe: Practice, problems, and prospects
This paper presents research findings on development journalism in Zimbabwe. Through a case study of the Chronicle newspaper coverage of the Millennium Development Goals, the paper explores issues in development journalism practice, problems and prospects. The main focus of the research was to evaluate the validity and relevance of development journalism as theoretically conceived by and Vincent (1992) in contemporary journalism practice. It is argued that the hackneyed concept of journalism remains valid and relevant in Zimbabwe and the rest of world especially if targets such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be achieved by 2015. In of its obvious merits in catalyzing development processes, development journalism is fraught with to become a worthy journalism pursuit. Development journalism lacks appeal and vigor and is impracticable in contemporary journalism practice. Operational environment factors such as; cut throat inter competition; profit motives of shareholders; lack of specialised training development journalism; Westernisation and juniorisation of the journalism profession; and the slump undermine the practice of development journalism in Zimbabwe. However, the practice of journalism in Zimbabwe has a future because both the government and journalists need it to promote the achievement of national development goals.
Key Words: Development Journalism, Emancipatory Journalism, Millennium Development Goals, Zimbabwe