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Zimbabwe Media Access and Professionalism Program (ZMAPP)

The Zimbabwe Media Access and Professionalism Program (ZMAPP) provides support for the production and dissemination of independent news and information to Zimbabweans throughout the country while also providing professional development opportunities for independent journalists, editors, and managers.

With a dearth of independent and reliable news available, existing journalists, media organizations, and civil society organizations struggle to ensure citizens have the ability to learn about economic, political, and social issues facing their communities. The program will assist these individuals and organizations with training and small grants to support media projects. The project is funded through a grant from the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the US Department of State.

Goals

• Increase Access to Credible News and Information

• Build the Professional Capacity of the Next Generation of News Managers

• Promote Independent Media Sector Development

Background

Zimbabwe formerly had one of the most vibrant media sectors in Africa. However, years of repression of the sector combined with an economic collapse and political instability have devastated the independent media in the country. The “information drought” faced by citizens remains despite some recent economic improvements and a fragile coalition government that includes the political opposition. Yet, individuals and organizations continue to struggle to improve the sector and bring much-needed information to citizens throughout the country.

Project Activities

Supporting the Distribution of Independent News and Information. IREX will support local efforts to produce and disseminate news throughout Zimbabwe since most citizens in the outlying regions have little access to independent news and information.

Building a Constituency for Information Access and Media Freedom. Seminars and training materials will help educate citizens about their rights to have access to independent news and information.

Professional Development for Media Managers and Journalists. Working in cooperation with the Sol Plaatje Media Management Institute at Rhodes University, IREX will provide tailored training and leadership skills to up to 20 leading management professionals.

Special Initiatives Fund for Alternative Media Approaches and Media Development. IREX will provide small grants to media organizations to support efforts to gather, produce and disseminate news through alternative media channels, promote media literacy, and provide training of the next generation of professionals. Inquiries may be sent to ZMAPPgrants@irex.org

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