Stanley Tsarwe is an African Peacebuilding Network 2013 grant recipient. He holds a Master’s in journalism and media studies from Rhodes University, South Africa. His PhD thesis, which has been submitted to the same institution, is titled “Mobile Phones and the Mediation of Health Information: Gender and Everyday Experiences of Young Zimbabweans.” His diverse research interests include media, conflict, and peacebuilding, as well as media and democracy and new media technologies in health communication. Stanley currently participates in a comparative multi-national study between Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Kenya on young people and information and communications technology (ICT) uses. He can be reached at

Essays | September 30, 2015

Mediating Electoral Violence in a Polarized Society: The Case of Zimbabwe

“Although the media…are expected to observe, investigate, and subsequently report news as objectively as possible, these institutions are powerful political and cultural actors, influenced by political and economic forces to take subjective positions. In a polarized environment such as Zimbabwe, they are not neutral arbiters of electoral information and images. Rather, the media carry the most basic characteristics of the journalism of war and violence: their reporting is propaganda oriented, elite oriented, and victory oriented.”

Photo credit to DoC via Flickr user GovernmentZA. Taken on February 17, 2015. CC BY-ND 2.0. No changes were made. Original photo:
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.