Internet Public Spheres, Civil Society Organisations and the State in the Zimbabwean Crisis: A Case Study of Kubatana.net?s e-newsletters
This article focuses on the use of e-newsletters to disseminate information and provide a platform for individual bloggers, NGOs, political parties and activists during the Zimbabwean crisis, using the online activist NGO Kubatana.net?s 2010 e-newsletters as an example. The article concludes that the e-newsletters were important for disseminating information, providing spaces for alternative views and facilitating dialogue between various social groups in civil society, many of whom were not fairly represented on mainstream media platforms. The voices in the e-newsletter also sought to challenge official narratives and accounts which dominated state-controlled spaces. The majority of contributors exhibited what could be viewed as pro-Western and pro-opposition sentiments on Zimbabwe. The argument made here is that the e-newsletters suggest a more expanded and differentiated public sphere with the potential to alter state?civil society power relations. It is nonetheless possible to observe that in a country with a glaring digital divide, the e-newsletters have the potential to further disempower disadvantaged groups, who may not have access to online platforms.