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The role of the media in environmental discourses in Zimbabwe

Environmental degradation and its impact on climate change should be more than just a science story. This publication aims to contribute to the conversation on environmental topics from different disciplines of study to contribute to a growing trend of discourse collaboration by different researchers for the purposes of enabeling more holistic debate.

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Climate change as an issue continues to be a major point of discourse with its implications shaping policy, politics and the way economies of scale are run. There is an ongoing debate between people that acknowledge that climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed and those on the other side of the spectrum that deny the existence of environmental degradation and its effect on climate change. This school of thought also argues that climate science is bad science. Since climate change has become a very topical issue amongst climate activists and climate denialists, this conversation is one that should move from journals and the diction that limit its accessibility by the average person on the street so that the world becomes a climate conscious and embraces a climate-adaptive ethos.

The Zimbabwean media could be playing a more prominent role in making sure that the legislation that governs the interaction between humans and their natural environment is known by everyone in Zimbabwe. Protecting the environment should be allocated more space within political discussions. These discussions should also become more inclusive, so that more members of society contribute towards a better environment and call out authorities in instances where they are not acting or not acting fast enough to engage and punish those that damage the environment. The media should ground their reporting based on facts founded on completed research complimented by an effort to make the findings and
their implications well known by the average person. These facts should also be communicated as early as possible so that they are reacted to in a timely and responsible manner.

Environmental degradation is an issue we cannot shy away from anymore. Doing the bare minimum or even putting some effort is not enough because our energy must match our crises. This means not only do we need to be aware of the issues plaguing us but we need to have more local collaborative efforts. There is a need to give more spotlight to environmental issues and making sure everyone understands why this is a serious discussion that should happen in Zimbabwe. As much as climate change and environmental degradation concerns are global issues, Zimbabwe still has an integral role it can play in addressing the destruction of our natural environment. Environmental discourse is often mired in diction and statistics next to other numbers and pie charts that an average person can find somewhat confusing. A lot of it reads as very legal and academic and it is the job of different members of media practitioners to make sure the conversation is mainstreamed, understandable and simplified. Concepts that could be initially considered as confusing could be simplified through visual aids and other creative ways that break down the most nuanced and complicated issues into concepts that more people can grasp. This is why different stakeholders ranging from journalists, filmmakers, artists, talk-show hosts, e.t.c can bring light to these issues.


Table of Content


Chapter 01: Post-statist strategies for improving public awareness of Climate Change in Zimbabwe

Zwelithini Eugine Xaba


Chapter 02: Unpacking discourses in the Media representation of Zimbabwe Artisanal Small Miners (ASM) operations and their contribution to climate change

Dr. Mandiedza Parichi


Chapter 03: Small-holder Farmers’ Perceptions of Climate Change and Implications for Adaptation: A case study of Matobo

Thulani Dube


Chapter 04: The Relationship Between Climate Scientists and Media in Zimbabwe

Peter Makwanya


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