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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Investigating the popularity of the Zimbabwean tabloid newspaper 'uMthunywa': a reception study of Bulawayo readers
Authors:Mabweazara, Hayes MawindiISNI
Strelitz, Larry NathanISNI
Periodical:Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Ndebele language (Zimbabwe)
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02560054.2009.9653398
Abstract:While the tabloid press in Africa has often been criticized for undermining the normative functions of journalism and depoliticizing readers, there has been little attempt to theorize the reasons for its rapid growth in popularity. Drawing on qualitative research methods, principally qualitative content analysis and in-depth interviews with Bulawayo readers of the Zimbabwean vernacular (isiNdebele) tabloid newspaper 'uMthunywa', this article argues that such media can serve an important journalistic and cultural role. In particular, as this article demonstrates, they can provide politically and economically marginalized readers with an alternative public space or sphere in which to articulate issues pertinent to their lived social, political, and economic realities. Bulawayo readers account for about three-quarters of the journal's total circulation of 16,000. The study advances that the content of 'uMthunywa' fosters a 'political' reading that resonates with the readers' general disenchantment with the power bloc and the mainstream press. It is, however, ironic that such content emerges from a State-owned tabloid. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]