- Nomalanga Masina
- Email address:
- Thesis title:
- Minimizing Friction: The role of private media in the mediation of Zimbabwe’s election politics in 2013
My interest in the power of representations in media came through my first post-graduate position as a Television Producer for Hotel de Ville, a Communications Agency in Johannesburg. The advertising industry’s influence in the structuring of specific discourses directed me towards the study of representations and their influence on our everyday lives. While working in advertising I undertook my Masters degree in Media Studies at the University of The Witwatersrand, completing a dissertation entitled ‘Black Like Me: Representations of Black Women in Advertisements Placed in Contemporary South African Magazines'. I was awarded a Masters in Media Studies with Distinction for merging my practical experiences with my theoretical work. This use of practice in conjunction with theory has continued to inform my work.
At present, I am working in Harare as a Current Affairs Producer for ZiFM Stereo, the first privately owned radio station in Zimbabwe. As always, I believe that any work within the practice of meaning-making must be informed by the appropriate theoretical grounding. For this reason, I have undertaken a PhD that uses my work at ZiFM as the case study that will elucidate how practices within Current Affairs programming mediate the politics of ‘Zimbabweaness’. As records of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe show, despite three decades of independence, alternative narratives of ‘Zimbabweaness’ in media frequently lead to the persecution of media producers in ways that are often violent in nature. In a country so politically volatile, where allegiances often boil down to race, ethnicity and party politics; the push for justice and accountability from those in power becomes more complex.
With these professional and academic interests in mind, I accepted a scholarship from The International Peace & Security Institute for ‘The Hague Symposium 2013’, a Post-Graduate qualification in Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice. Through formal lectures in post-conflict security, combined with interactive workshops, I gained the necessary skills in the field of transitional governance. Taking part in rigorous simulations at The International Criminal Court, The International Court of Justice, The Special Court for Sierra Leone and The Special Tribunal for Lebanon allowed me to effectively move from speaking about conflict mediation in academic terms to gaining a critical understanding of how international legal frameworks work in nurturing reconciliation in unstable countries. By combining my interest in media with these tools for peace-building and reconciliation, my work focuses on the power private broadcasting in Zimbabwe has to mediate discussions about democracy and nationhood.
I graduated from The Hague Symposium with a Post-Graduate Certificate in ‘Post-Conflict Transitions & International Justice’. I have continued to work with the IPSI team as a member of their Selection Committee where I ensure that we select, create and maintain relationships with thought-leaders in the field of International Diplomacy around the world.
Continuing to divide my time between Harare, London, and The Hague, will allow me to use multiple forms of knowledge to chart a new path in Zimbabwean broadcasting. I aim to use my extensive training to direct my career towards policy development in transitional communities. Every facet of my work is directed towards helping Zimbabweans to move from conflict to post-conflict democracy with the least amount of friction, a task I believe is attainable.