Research Article

Interrogating the forces that condition media representation of traditional healers in selected Zimbabwean newspapers

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 40, issue 2, 2020 , pages: 208–217
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2020.1804283
Author(s): Tevedzerai Gijimah, Pretoria, Dave Mutasa, Pretoria

Abstract

This article is a qualitative exploration of the factors that affect media representations of traditional healers in Zimbabwe. Guided by the Afrocentricity theory, the study focuses on the forces that shape the images of traditional healers in the newspapers Kwayedza, Daily News and The Herald. The article highlights that the stories that are read in newspapers about traditional healers are exaggerated and hyperbolic. They are not limited to the acts of these practitioners per se. Many factors in media production condition representation of traditional healers. The upshot of our rendition is that stories are rarely an honest reflection of traditional healers and their practices, but are versions of the truth. The article asserts that media representation is affected by colonialism, capitalism and the beliefs and religious orientations of individual journalists. Consequently, newspaper stories about traditional healers should not be consumed without applying one’s mind with regard to the contexts in which they are produced.

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