BY LINKENSTANG MOYO
The Former People called ‘Consumers’
The introduction of new media technologies have impacted heavily of each and one of us. We tend to use these new media technologies like the Internet and Social media for different agendas. This brings us to the social construction of technology (SCOT), where individuals chose how they use new media to save their different interests.
The development of new media technologies has brought with it the concept of citizen journalism. This is good news to those whose interest is in letting people know what is happening around them. Individuals are now ‘prosumers’ as they also send and receive information hence the move from consumers to prosumers. We have become prosumers because we are no longer passive receivers of information as we also have the ability to create content and send it to others.
Figure 1: Dadani Tsambani- a citizen journalist
On our blog today, we caught up with one of the citizen journalists in the Bulilima District. He has got a penchant for using new media technologies to develop his community. His name is Dadani Tsambani, a certified citizen journalist of Gala ward 6. He is interested in telling us which communication channel he utilises to communicate stories to his community. Let us hear what he has to say.
‘My name is Dadani Tsambani and I come from Gala Ward 6 in Bulilima. I am a certified citizen journalist. I received my training from Plumtree Development Trust. That is where I was equipped with skills on how to formulate stories and be able to tell picture and video stories. I love being a citizen journalist because I am able to tell stories happening in my own community using my own language. Most of the stories that I tell are developmental stories where I tackle developmental projects that are undertaken in my community, the problems we face in trying to develop our community and how we as a community can rectify them. The most important thing is that I use WhatsApp for communication because most of my community members can easily access WhatsApp and it is affordable. My community relies on information communicated on WhatsApp because we do not have any other source of information because of poor telecommunications structural development. WhatsApp is our only source of information’
Well, Tsambani’s testimony shows the vital role played by new media in communication and in development of even rural communities like Gala hence it is safe for me to conclude that new information technologies are part and parcel of our lives. It also shows that as individuals we use new media for different purposes or needs.