Freelance journalism in Zimbabwe: challenges and opportunities

Lungile Tshuma*, Mphathise Ndlovu, Zinzile N. Dhladhla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

In Zimbabwe, the comatose economy has had an impact on the media industry. Since 2000, media houses have been shutting down due to lack of financial support or poor business environment. For some news organisations, they have been retrenching their staff as a cost cutting measure. This has also led to retrenched journalists to write for other publications as freelance journalists. This study examines the state of freelance journalism in Zimbabwe. It aims to assess their role and contribution to the media industry, challenges they face, and also the survival strategies they are adopting. This qualitative study is informed by Bourdieu’s field theory. It used in-depth interviews while thematic analysis was employed in analyzing data. Findings demonstrates that freelance journalists are contributing to the growth of media industry in Zimbabwe by writing on specialised beats like science reporting. Besides such contributions, findings further demonstrated that freelance journalism is seen as ‘curse’ as journalists are easily harassed by the state agents who rarely recognizes someone not working for an established organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournalism
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Freelance
  • Zimbabwe
  • Journalism
  • News media
  • Research methods: qualitative

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