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Zimbabwe: New Dailies Launch, Usher in New Era for Print MediaPosted by: admin on Mon, 2010-06-14 10:35
Harare--The range of print news sources for Zimbabweans is finally expanding. Newsday, one of five independent newspapers recently granted licenses by the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), has begun circulating. A second, The Daily News, is set to hit the streets in August. Zimbabweans are getting their first taste of an independent daily newspaper after seven years of firm state control by the government of President Robert Mugabe.
There has been no word yet about the three other registered papers – The Daily Gazette, The Mail and The Worker.
Newsday, which hit the streets on Monday 7 June, is published by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), owned by South Africa-based media mogul Trevor Ncube. AMH also publishes The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard weekly newspapers.
“We want to bring the news to the people at an affordable price and we want everyone to have the right to access news and information,” said Iden Wetherell, group associate editor for AMH and also an executive with the Zimbabwe Editors Forum.
Already, despite Newsday's reputation as a fairly light read, it seems to be trying to offer forthright reporting about government affairs. For example, its edition of 10 June has a lead story claiming that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wants the spokesperson of President Robert Mugabe to be disciplined for saying that a bilateral agreement Tsvangirai negotiated with South Korea was "null and void." In another edition, the paper reported exclusively that the governor of the central bank, Gedion Gono, plans to axe 3,000 employees but was getting bogged down in severance package talks with workers.
At least one more publication, monthly celebrity magazine Zimbceleb, has submitted papers to the ZMC for approval to print. Zimceleb, published by Berimark Enterprises, has been available online for the past couple of years.
“We have submitted our papers to the ZMC and it is our hope that we will get a license to commence operations as soon as possible,” said Berimark's Michael Nyirenda. “We will be supplementing the magazine with the online version which will be updated daily,” he added.
An official with the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the previously-banned Daily News, revealed that the popular paper will be back on the streets by August this year when the company finishes sorting out operational logistics.
Post Script: Read the Reporters Without Border's Profile of Zimbabwe's Media Environment prior to the granting of licenses to the newspapers
Related News Articles:
Zimbabwe Gets First Private Daily Newspaper in Years
Zimbabwe Media Body Grants Licences to Private Papers
Picture Courtesy: Screenshots of the The Daily News and Newsday Website taken on June 14, 2010