Political media bullies are a threat to community development


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ZIMBABWE’S political landscape that is saturated with toxic polarisation that has put undue pressures on the various media in the country making it difficult for them and their journalists to operate without fear for their safety.
Of concern is that Zimbabweans are viewing the local news media as exacerbating a polarisation of people’s attitudes in the communities retarding development in the process,
However, what is a matter of concern are the deliberate efforts by powerful political personalities to force readers to shift from reading news from any media that had the guts to carry stories that they view as not favourable to their party interests.
Such undemocratic actions by these media bullies across the political divide breed intolerance in our community and promote hatred among citizens.
Worse still, the culprits will be shooting themselves in the foot with such myopic actions as they would miss the opportunity to receive genuine feedback about the state of affairs in their parties and what the masses perceptions are.
That would help them to gauge their support and use such feedback to manage the political fortunes of their organisations.
News can feature like-minded or opposing views but an over-exposure to like-minded views can be a danger to society.
However, everyone should enjoy the right to self-select news sources that is not based on their political
preferences or not.
That is not to say local news outlets are not guilty of producing partisan coverage, but this may vary greatly.
Political parties through the use of digital –born news platforms may also find it convenient to exploit the huge gaps in a community’s understanding of the relationship between the news media and polarization.
Therefore, it is essential for our community members to consider both the supply side (news production) and the demand side (news consumption
News coverage of issues such as immigration, elections, and corruption is generally influenced by the political leaning of the news outlet.
But the importance of politics in shaping factors like sourcing and tone varies.
Another worrying trend is the relationship between news content and populism has led to the rise of populist attitudes across the country.
Social media is the most guilty of over-representing populist views while the commercial interests of mainstream media were also a contributory factor

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