A NEWÂ independent daily newspaper from Zimind Publishers group which owns the Zimbabwe Independent and Standard will soon be launched adding a new dimension to the news market currently dominated by the publicly owned dailies which are controlled by the government.
The new daily, to be called NewsDay, will be published every day of the week except Sunday. The companyâ€™s other titles, the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard, will continue to be published as at present on Friday and Sunday.
Zimind Publishers chairman Trevor Ncube, who also owns South African-based M&G Media Ltd which publishes the Mail & Guardian, said Thursday NewsDay would be hitting the streets soon.
The NewsDay project, including other related operations, is expected to create over 300 jobs in the publishing sector. At least US$4 million would be invested in the project.
The project, Ncube said, must not only be seen as a press freedom enterprise but also as an investment.
Ncube said his group had been encouraged by the discussions it has had with inclusive government officials and the regulatory authorities.
â€œAs a local investor we are encouraged by the opportunities that the Global Political Agreement offers. While there have been teething problems we believe that the new inclusive Zimbabwean government realises the importance of creating an economic environment that encourages local and international investors,â€ Ncube said.
â€œWe have briefed both the inclusive government and the regulatory authorities and we are confident that we will be licensed as soon as possible. We donâ€™t foresee any obstacles.â€
Ncube said his company had been waiting for a conducive environment for this project and was encouraged by the fact that the legislative framework had been improved by the three political parties when they signed the Global Political Agreement last year, leading to the formation of the inclusive government last month.
He said the Herculean task facing the inclusive government would be made easier by a vibrant and independent media that empowers the readers and those in authority to debate and disseminate
information in the public interest.
â€œWe all need factual, accurate and truthful information to make vital decisions and right now both the people and those in authority are poorly served largely because of lack of diversity and pluralism in the media,â€ he said.
â€œNewsDay, as an independent and fresh daily on the market, will play a vital role in the rebuilding of our nation. We will leverage the political agreement to be the voice of a new Zimbabwe. We will be a forum and market place for the ideas we need to create a prosperous economy and to provide a platform for debate as we strive to revive our education, health and social systems. As a non-partisan and independent paper, we hope to draw on our internal talents while providing a voice for the Diaspora too.â€
Ncube said more newspapers were needed to provide information and different platforms for national debate.
â€œStrong and competitive nations are those that create a market place for ideas where ultimately the best ideas win. Right now such a market place does not exist and Zimbabwe is therefore poorer as a result,â€ Ncube said.–Staff Writer