News in the digital age: a case study of CITE as a digital public sphere in Zimbabwe

Nqobile T. Ndzinisa, Carolyne Mande Lunga, Mphathisi Ndlovu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is growing scholarship on how social media are shaping the practice and performance of mainstream media organisations. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide journalists with information and sources on issues happening across the globe. Journalists and news organisations are appropriating social media tools to generate story ideas and interact with audiences. Concerns about the quality of information circulated on these platforms and the growing misinformation and disinformation remain, affecting the reputation of mainstream media and digital start-ups. This study investigates the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE), a digital start-up in Zimbabwe, focusing on its role as a digital public sphere in the country’s news ecosystem thus contributing to understandings of the role and importance of the digital public sphere in the Zimbabwean context. Drawing upon the digital public sphere and social constructionism as frameworks for conceptualising digital tools and journalism practice, this research interrogates the role of this digital start-up. We argue that CITE has appropriated and adopted digital tools to transform its news making practice in ways that provide a platform for excluded and marginalised communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-64
Number of pages20
JournalAfrican Journalism Studies
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • CITE
  • social media
  • digital public sphere
  • engagement
  • news production
  • counter publics

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