ZDDT embraces citizen journalism

The Zimbabwe Development Democracy Trust is strengthening its relations with communities through cooperation with a pool of citizen journalists. The scribes have been working with, and were mentored by, another Civil Society Organisation, Radio Dialogue FM.

The programme has acitizen journalist in every ward in the city. This new cooperation will see ZDDT using citizen journalism to determine, value and promote the views of all constituents. The organisation believes in a “bottom-up” approach to both development and democracy. Citizen journalism has recently taken the global centre stage. It is the act of a citizen, or group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information. ZDDT contends that this is imperative for the realization of true democracy in Zimbabwe.

The proponents of citizen journalism argue that, due to its unchallenged hold on audiences, mainstream media are often found abusing their power and privilege – hence the paradigm shift to involve every citizen in the gathering and sharing of news.

Under the banner of the Sebenzela concept, ZDDT is promoting the involvement of all citizens in the development of their communities. This includes the councillor-driven Community Mapping and Needs Assessment Exercise, which assesses society’s needs and the resources available. Input from this indicated the need to have eyes and ears on the ground. People are encouraged to report on the issues they value most, or are most concerned about.

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