Television viewers pay licenses hoping to gain access to quality programming. Therefore the public broadcaster should not be a channel for vitriolic hate speech or political propaganda by a single party. It should rather be a source of information for all citizens, giving balanced airspace to all political parties. A national broadcaster which acts as a mouth-piece for a particular political party is not worthy of a dime from citizens.
Zimbabwe needs a public broadcaster that prioritises the public interest as it is a powerful tool of socialisation whose content impacts the views and perceptions of citizens, and in particular, moulding the minds of younger generations.Children should be allowed a more diverse viewing selection and not be circumstantially forced to watch programmes of a political nature.
ZBC argues that the mere fact that one has a television or radio in their car, home or office, suggests they have the potential to watch ZTV. Unfortunately potential does not necessarily transform into actual in Zimbabwe. How many times have we heard that Zimbabwe has the potential to restore its bread-basket status in the region and this does not translate because of policy gaps? I know for a fact that ZBC claims that its viewership has increased over the years. I don’t know their basis for claiming that, since they are the only licensed broadcaster, but they also need to do an assessment of how much money DSTV is making from the Zimbabwean market .
Political parties should be allowed to set up their own stations and control the content, which reminds one of the need to revisit the media laws in Zimbabwe. Anything short of that may call for the total closure of the national broadcaster.