It might somewhat come as an ambush to the market, but we hope the new-look Zimbabwe Independent will strike a chord with our readers.
Report by Dumisani Muleya
From time to time, everyone needs a makeover and a newspaper is no different. Newspapers the world over often change or refresh designs to rejuvenate their look, enhance content and add personality.
They try to come up with new and better layouts –– presentation and packaging –– sometimes even improve fonts, graphic designs, arrangements and colours to change their feel. In other cases, a newspaper may require an overhaul if the layout has become stale or readers demand change.
Since its launch in 1996, the Independent has undergone design, structure and packaging refreshers occasionally, with readers generally responding positively. The changes have often proved to be energisers in the market in which the newspaper continues to gain a foothold as the main platform for ideas, debates and insights on Zimbabwe’s political economy.
We have always strived to change how our people relate to government and interact with public institutions and their leaders, as well as society at large. It is important to ensure informed, honest and robust debate, while helping to improve how people make their choices on crucial issues and connect to business and the economy.
Our focus remains the same: To be the most reliable and trusted provider of business news, information and data, as well as political insight in Zimbabwe.
To achieve this, we need to provide cutting-edge, incisive and dynamic news coverage, as well as compelling investigative reporting and analysis on multimedia platforms.
We will continue to hold government to account and fight for progressive democratic reforms and alternatives. Our spotlight will remain on the public and private spheres of life to expose abuse of power and corruption, while promoting good governance, accountability and transparency.
Without fear or favour, we will always seek to hold those in power accountable, demanding to know how public resources or funds are being used and how we are being governed while in the process helping to shape the future of our country.
Readers can count on us on this. Credibility, relevance and professionalism will remain our core values in service of communities and democracy in our role as a public watchdog. We want to be the home to fresh ideas, critical thinking and investigative journalism. That’s what we aspire to be.
In terms of changes, you will notice from the masthead, front page and across different sections, including news, politics, business, features, op-eds, entertainment and sport, there are new features of one kind or another. The changes though are not revolutionary but perhaps evolutionary.
Many of the changes we have made in our refresh come from your feedback as captured by experts. For that we would like to say thank you.
In this world where the social media is changing the face of society and journalism, there is always need to reorganise, to redesign to come up with fresh ideas, be dynamic and add punch in news coverage.
The growth of social media interactive platforms –– Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and others –– have changed forever the character and practice of journalism.
It’s not just media organisations which have been jolted out of their comfort zones by social media, all sorts of businesses, organisations and individuals have had to adjust to keep pace with changing technological innovations and growing customer demands.
With the list of social media tools growing and technological changes moving so rapidly, it means as journalists we must find innovative ways of adapting.
The advent of social media does not mark the death of journalism as we know it but requires that we should always adjust and be dynamic to cope with today’s ever-changing world in which rigid authoritarian regimes and dictators are fast becoming endangered species. Our new design is all about change.