Interview with the chief editor of NewsDay, Wisdom Mdzungairi. He has given his consent to using his name and identity, as well as consenting to using his answers in my research and thesis. The interview was conducted on the 6th of February 2019, at 13:36 hours at the offices of NewsDay in Harare.
Example of consent form used for all my interviews:
This interview is part of the data-collection-process of a MA-thesis for the Masters African Studies of Leiden University in the Netherlands. The interview will be voice-recorded on my laptop. The information from this interview will be used as data in the MA-thesis and the thesis will eventually be published via the University of Leiden. The thesis and its content will be freely accessible via internet and via the university. The subject is on the relation between social media and political participation in Zimbabwe. This interview will contain 15 questions. You can answer them as short of as long as you want. If you don’t want to answer a question, please feel free to just tell me to skip it. Before we start, I ask your permission for the following;
Does the participant want to remain anonymous? This means; your name will be changed – and if wanted, your voice on the recordings will be changed also. The voice-memo will be kept in a password-protected file. No pictures will be taken. Yes/No.
Does the participant give his or her permission to use this data, anonymously or not, in the thesis of Linde Rozemeijer? Yes/No.
Signature participant Signature interviewer
Interview with Wisdom (below). The entire interview is 18,5 minutes long, I will only post the first 4 minutes on this blog.
Linde: What kind of social media do you use?
Wisdom: you mean in terms of our website?
L: No personally.
W: oh, all kinds. You talk of Instagram, you talk of Facebook, you talk of [inaudible], you talk of Facebook. Hmhm, I do all of that.
Linde: What do you use it for?
W: Interaction. I use it for interaction. I use it to contact my news-sources, business-partner, knowing all too well that as an editor I have to get in touch with all people who matter in society to us and that’s my responsibility, to keep communication channels open with all those people, in case we have to…might have to defend our position. Yeah, some are politicians, some are business people, some are international criminals, and so and so. I keep the communication with them, yeah.
L: S, I would categorize (inaudible) as advantages of social media, are there also disadvantages of social media?
W: Very true, because what may happen is that your information maybe taken out of context.
L: Are you talking about fake news?
W: Yes, credibly of those. So social media is always a challenge in one way or another. So yeah, you notice there maybe challenges, one way or another.
L: Okay, do you…
W: Euhm, because we are a big brand and the editor of NewsDay, which is the leading newspaper in the country, independent newspaper, it means that people pledge to (inaudible) euh to submit their end and they will do the same for their editor, honestly, so yeah.
L: Do you use social media platforms to discuss subjects concerning politics, and can you give examples?
W: Guess what, I am one person who does not believe in that. Because politics in Europe and Africa are totally different. Politics there are to do with personalities and so on. Being the head of the daily independent newspaper of the country, the largest for that matter, means that my life is always at danger. I have received threats on yeah, so so so the best way possible for me is to then say that you don’t take any side. So so so how do we do that? I have maintained a balance, a middle of the road approach, which I find very interesting, it is very difficult to maintain, but when you take that middle of the road approach, you cannot be accused of supporting whichever political party in the country. Because then you don’t say your political views on this particular (inaudible). So, I have a tendency to shy away from those social media in terms of indicating my political inclination or is it my views on those other issues. I think my views are more pronounced in my editorials and to this task that I take as a newspaper, I think that speaks to my views and key issues in the country.