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Fact | Zimbabwe’s media community is far behind from embracing the impact of disruptive technologies such as Generative Artificial Intelligence.

Considering the acute digital poverty affecting journalists and small media organisations. Here is a survival and resilience toolkit for Journalists and media organisations in Zimbabwe:

  • Strengthening Investigative reporting
  • Strengthening data driven journalism.
  • Advocate for  Media policy that Strengthens responsible use of AI in the newsrooms.
  • Capacitating media organisations with training on disruptive technologies such as Generative Artificial Intelligence.

The absence of these measures will result in Journalists and small media organisations competing with chatbots for digital instant news.

ZNCJ predicts a negative variance of 3000 media jobs to be lost or unrealised by end of 2023. The apocalypse will neutralise and attack the business model of small media digital newsrooms that depend on advertising revenue with Google Adsense.

ZNCJ Research Team 2023

The best performers in the industry will be the quickest to publish authentic news supported with rich multimedia, of which such monopolies are taken by regional media organisations with higher rankings in domain authority such as Media24, IOL etc.

In the wake of AI, Zimbabwe Media Community including the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), VMCZ, MAZ must consider immediately rolling  out programs to influence Media policy that governs AI.

Zimbabwean journalists, copywriters, sub editors, fact checkers, markerters and graphic designers are at risk of losing their jobs simply because AI has proven to perform the same tasks better than humans.

The Zimbabwe Media Community is a special case because there is need to protect Media Organisations from extinction.

It will take a multi stake holder approach from tertiary institutions to media organisations to adopt and incorporate AI in learning modules.

Print and  broadcast media are insufficient to run a profitable and competitive newsroom in the age of AI.

Zimbabwe is already lagging behind in digital media technologies to support newsrooms. Data journalism is still an emerging discipline that is currently underperforming due to incapacitation.

This report calls out for Media Institutions to invest in capacitating journalists with technical knowledge of disruptive technologies particularly Generative Artificial Intelligence.

A survey by ZNCJ.ORG revealed that urban populations with internet access prefer Independent digital media compared to legacy print and broadcast state run media.

How to leverage AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the media landscape, and African media organizations can leverage this technology in a number of ways to improve their journalism. Here are a few examples:

Automated news gathering:

AI can be used to automate tasks such as searching for and summarizing news articles, identifying trends in data, and generating story ideas. This can free up journalists to focus on more creative and in-depth reporting.

Data-driven journalism:

AI can be used to analyze large datasets to identify patterns and trends that would be difficult or impossible to spot with the naked eye. This can help journalists to uncover hidden stories and to tell them in a more compelling way.

Personalized news delivery:

AI can be used to personalize news feeds for individual users, based on their interests and preferences. This can help to keep users engaged and to ensure that they are getting the news that is most relevant to them.


 AI can be used to fact-check news articles and to identify false or misleading information. This is essential in the age of misinformation, when it is more important than ever for journalists to be able to verify the accuracy of their reporting.

Challenges faced by African Media that can be addressed by AI.

Limited resources:

AI can help to reduce the cost of journalism by automating tasks that would otherwise be done by humans. This can free up resources that can be used for other purposes, such as hiring more journalists or investing in new technology.

Lack of training:

AI can help to bridge the skills gap in journalism by providing journalists with access to training and resources that they would not otherwise have. This can help to improve the quality of journalism in Africa.

Government censorship:

AI can help to circumvent government censorship by providing journalists with a way to publish their work without fear of reprisal. This is essential in countries where freedom of the press is restricted.

Overall, AI has the potential to revolutionize journalism in Africa. By embracing this technology, African media organizations can improve their journalism, overcome challenges, and reach a wider audience.

What is the solution for Zimbabwe Media

Here are some solutions to adapt AI to avoid job losses in the media:

Retrain and upskill journalists:

As AI automates more tasks, journalists will need to be retrained and upskilled to take on new roles. This could include learning new technologies, such as data analysis and storytelling software, or developing new skills, such as audience engagement and social media marketing.

Create new roles for journalists:

AI will create new roles for journalists, such as data journalists, who will use AI to analyze data and produce stories. It will also create new opportunities for journalists to work in different areas, such as social media, marketing, and public relations.

Form partnerships with AI companies:

 Media organizations can form partnerships with AI companies to develop new products and services. This could include using AI to create new content, such as virtual reality experiences, or to personalize news feeds for individual users.

Invest in research and development:

 Media organizations can invest in research and development to develop their own AI capabilities. This could involve hiring AI experts, developing new AI tools, or collaborating with universities and research institutes.

By taking these steps, media organizations can adapt to the rise of AI and avoid job losses.

In addition to the above, here are some other things that media organizations can do to adapt to AI:

Focus on human-centered journalism:

AI can be a powerful tool for journalists, but it is important to remember that it is still a tool. Journalists should always be the ones in control of the story, and they should never let AI dictate how they report the news.

Be transparent about the use of AI:

When journalists use AI, they should be transparent about it with their audience. This will help to build trust and credibility with readers and viewers.

Use AI to complement, not replace, human judgment:

 AI can be a valuable tool for journalists, but it is important to remember that it is not a replacement for human judgment. Journalists should always use their own judgment when reporting the news, and they should not rely solely on AI to make decisions.

If you support independent community focused journalism in Zimbabwe, you are welcome to donate towards ZNCJ.ORG fund to provide reporting grants for investigative stories like this.

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