The formerly banned Daily News published its first full-fledged edition Friday eight years after the government closed it under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The paper put out a promotional issue a week ago to launch its return to Zimbabwe’s media world.
Managing Editor John Gambanga said the paper is now going out every day but Sunday with “the same critical stand against (the) ills that continue to affect our nation.”
The Daily News joins the 30,000 circulation Newsday in the ranks of independent dailies – The Mail, edited by veteran Barnabas Thondlana, joins the fray in April. The Media Institute of Southern Africa said the Daily News relaunch will increase public access to diverse opinions and views.
Zimbabwe Media Commissioner Mathew Takaona tells VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira he is elated The Daily News is back, but says more needs to be done to ensure reform across the entire spectrum of media.
Coordinator Andrew Moyse of the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe says The Daily News could be off the streets before long if controversial media laws are not amended.
Meawhile civil society groups and political parties have welcomed the return of The Daily News. Observers urge the government to license more independent papers and radio and television stations as Thabang Mathebula reports.
Once Zimbabwe’s best-selling newspaper, the Daily News will battle it out on the streets with Newsday and the state-controlled Herald and Chronicle daily newspapers.
State media continues to enjoy a monopoly in radio and television broadcasting and with elections in the offing there is little expectation that situation will change soon.
Before the Daily News was forced to close in 2003, its printing presses were blown up, its reporters were arrested on numerous occasions for writing critical articles and its offices were more than once targeted by gasoline bombs.