Media Retaliation against the 2015 Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa: The Case of the QFM Radio in Zambia

Hlazo Mkandawire


Today´s democratic South Africa is figuratively labeled as a “rainbow nation” that embraces and celebrates diversity. However, the country has struggled to deal with socio-economic inequalities based on race and nationality for decades. The recent outbreak of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, mainly immigrants and refugees, is a manifestation of this long existing divide. High unemployment rate, crime and disease have compounded the above situation, and media coverage of immigrants featuring sensationalism inadvertently promotes stereotypes. This paper discusses two actions taken by the QFM Radio in Zambia as acts of media retaliation to protest against the 2015 xenophobic attacks. The first was banning air play of all South African music on its radio station. The second was initiating an anti-xenophobia protest logo that facilitated civic engagement and participation in an effort to stop xenophobia and attract the attention of global media.

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