The women who fight for freedom of thought
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Gerry Jackson - radio broadcaster in Zimbabwe


© David Sandison for The Guardian
Gerry Jackson, Zimbabwean journalist, exiled in London.

Background: Officially, Zimbabwe is a presidential republic. In reality, human rights aren't respected. The media are often censored and they continue to come up against bullying and arrests.

What she fights for: Freedom of expression.

Her weapon: The radio.
In 2001, Gerry, who was company director of Capital Radio, found herself obliged to stop broadcasting and leave Zimbabwe. The radio shows she hosted weren't going down well with the government...
Averse to silence, she left for London and set up SW Radio Africa. "The voice of those without a voice" , as she calls it, is transmitted in Zimbabwe and it became an instant success. Listeners anonymously break open their piggy banks, calling from Zimbabwe to bear witness to and denounce the regime. 

Downsides: Faced with the success of SW Radio Africa and not able to wipe it off the media map, the Zimbabwe government chose to exile the journalists who worked there. The radio station was also jammed during the regional elections.

Recognition: In 2005, SW Radio Africa received the Free Media Pioneer Award from the IPI (International Press Institute).

Where to hear more: Via podcast on the website SW Radio Africa.


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