Media literacy crucial as political parties battle for online supremacy

Analysts have called for improved media literacy among voters as the country heads towards the August 23 general election as it is necessary to counter the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

As the polls draw near, the two main political parties in Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF and the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), are increasingly using social media to reach out to voters.

However, this has led to a battle of images and propaganda, with each party trying to show that they have the biggest crowds at their rallies.

Media and Information literacy specialist Clayton Moyo warned that this obsession with optics could crowd out important issues in the election campaign.

He said that voters need to be media literate so that they can critically assess the information they see on social media and not be misled by false or misleading images and videos.

Political analyst Effie Ncube said that political parties who combine face-to-face campaigning with social media are likely to be most successful.

However, he also warned that social media can be used to spread false information and propaganda, so it is important for voters to be able to identify and verify information before they share it.

Another analyst, Dr Khanyile Mlotshwa, said that politicians are failing to make a link between their online and offline campaigns. He said that while they may be able to attract a large following on social media, this does not necessarily translate into votes.

Dr Mlotshwa said that social media will still have an impact in the next election, but it is not clear how significant this impact will be. He said that the outcome of the election will depend on a number of factors, including the fairness of the election process.

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