New Zimbabwe Limited, publishers of New Zimbabwe.com, has announced the imminent arrival of a print edition of the website to be published weekly, starting in early July. Initially publication will be restricted to the United Kingdom but the plan is to publish in Zimbabwe itself, one day...
Middleborough and Nigerian striker Yakubu is shown a dummy of the newspaper by New Zimbabwe media director, Jeff Madzingo.
London - In a statement this week, the company also announced the formation of a separate company, known as New Zimbabwe Media Limited which will publish the print newspaper, to be known as The New Zimbabwe.
A limited distribution dummy edition of the newspaper was published early May. New Zimbabwe.com editor, Mduduzi Mathuthu said: “It has been a long held ambition to venture into print publishing. This couldn't come early enough.”
Mathuthu is a director of New Zimbabwe Media, alongside Jeff Madzingo, currently boss of Destiny Financial Services Limited.
New Zimbabwe.com went online in June 2003, and was the first commercial Zimbabwean news website. With an average 500 000 hits per day, the website has grown to command the biggest market share after toppling the state-run Herald newspaper in late 2005, according to the web traffic site, Alexa.com.
Support from readers, advertisers, ‘humbling'
Mathuthu said: “New Zimbabwe.com has been an emotionally and physically draining adventure, but everyone who works or contributes to the site has worked their socks off in an honest fashion.
“Where others have been cushioned by funding by wealthy foreign organisations and governments, we have had to scrap using very limited resources. It is true that God rewards honest effort, because New Zimbabwe.com's continued success is living proof of that.”
Mathuthu paid tribute to New Zimbabwe.com readers and advertisers, calling their support “humbling”.
He said: “As a natural progression, we have reached that stage where we need to explore opportunities in the print industry. The growth of Zimbabwean companies in the Diaspora affords us a unique opportunity to reach out to them and deliver their products and services to their target market in a way that was previously never imagined.
“We want to be part of the development of Zimbabwean businesses in the Diaspora, and the professional advance of Zimbabweans in every step of the way. The paper will celebrate the success of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, and raise the profiles of our new heroes and heroines. That's what New Zimbabwe is all about, raising hope from the decaying politics of our current rulers.”
New Zimbabwe will be published and distributed right across the United Kingdom. Mathuthu said there were no immediate plans to publish the paper in Zimbabwe, although limited copies would be made available to subscribers. Publishing in Zimbabwe, he said, was not commercially viable under the current economic climate.
One day, Zimbabwe!“ The situation will be constantly under review, and hopefully, we will get it to Zimbabwe one day. Zimbabwe is ultimately where the dawn of the New Zimbabwe will crack, and we want to be part of that process.”
The first edition of the paper will be rolled out on Thursday, July 7. The paper will be mainly free, although it could be sold in some areas, Mathuthu said.
New Zimbabwe.com will continue publishing as normal, with separate content from the paper which will have a separate editorial team and editor, the company said. An announcement will be made on the paper's editor shortly.
"We will be a proper red top tabloid, with a lot of celebrity, human interest, business and sports stories and a sprinkling of political stuff. We will focus mainly on Southern Africans based in the UK. South Africans and Zimbabweans will get special attention," Mathuthu said.
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