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Govt to back New Ziana

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Govt to back New Ziana

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Necessary support will be provided to the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust (ZMMT) by the Government as it seeks to turnaround the fortunes of New Ziana, which owns the national news agency and publishes eight community newspapers.

This was said by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, to apprise it on measures being pursued to revive the operations of New Ziana.

“From the Government perspective, we are prepared to support the thrust which the Trust (ZMMT) has, and we also believe that in terms of devolution, we cannot have a situation where we have community (radio) stations in communities but we do not have newspapers which the communities can identify with, and whose content the community can relate to,” he said.

“We want to appreciate the inquiry into the operations of this emblematic outlet called New Ziana and we do not believe it should die.

“We believe in the thrust that the Trustees want to take and that they should be supported by the policymakers and our Parliament.”

ZMMT deputy chairperson Mr Tommy Sithole said they were exploring ways of leveraging on New Ziana’s property portfolio as a way to raise funds for the resuscitation of the news agency’s operations.

“New Ziana has quite a substantial portfolio of properties and can leverage them to revitalise its operations through using them as collateral to borrow or let them out,” he said.

He also said they were looking at increasing the print run of its eight provincial titles from the current 500 each per week to between 2 000 and 3 000 and distribute them for free while selling advertising space.

The strategy, Mr Sithole said, was common in the UK and has been successfully adopted by the Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited on some of its titles.

Technological advancement has seen New Ziana facing stiff competition from various media sources that have been established, although Mr Sithole said the organisation still had a niche to supply foreign news agencies with verified and reliable news on Zimbabwe. Herald

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