Introduction to Zimbabwe News Media
Zimbabwe has a huge relevance on the map of world media as some of the oldest newspapers in Africa originated from this southern African country. However, the media has not been completely free in Zimbabwe as successive governments have had a control over it.
The tightest of the restrictions for the Zimbabwean media came in view during the government of Robert Mugabe, who first served as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987 and then as President from 1987 to 2017.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean constitution guarantees freedom of the media and freedom of expression. However, the strict media laws help the government keep press under control.
In the 2008 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, Zimbabwe ranked 151st in the list of 173 countries. The Press Freedom Index adds that the Ministry of Information has the power to sack working journalists if their content is deemed inappropriate.
The oldest of the African newspapers originated in Zimbabwe, among which The Herald is functional even today. Zimbabwe’s oldest and most prominent newspaper, The Herald is owned by the government. It is the descendant of Mashonaland and Zambesian Times, which was launched by William Ernest Fairbridge in 1891.
The Herald enjoyed a loyal reader base for a long time before witnessing a fall in readership in the recent years. According to the Press Reference: Zimbabwe, the readership of The Herald dipped from 132,000 to 50,000-100,000 in 2008.
Media In Opposition
Daily News was another influential newspaper of Zimbabwe that was forced to shut its operations in 2002. The paper was famous for criticising the Mugabe regime. However, Daily News director Wilf Mbanga continued to act as opposition to the ruling government with another publication called “The Zimbabwean”.
In 2010, another independent national daily newspaper NewsDay started publishing in Zimbabwe. Newspapers like The Chronicle, The Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe Independent, and Zimbabwe Daily News soon joined the media business.
Zimbabwe newspapers do not have a decent readership in the countryside as people living there prefer radio over other mediums of news.
The news websites’ business is on a rise in Zimbabwe as the government does not restrict the use of the internet in the country. However, according to the 2009 Map of Press Freedom: Zimbabwe by US-based Freedom House, only 10.955 percent of the population has access to the internet.
Since the internet is unrestricted in Zimbabwe, users can easily access content from across the globe from inside the country. This is one of the reasons why the government considered banning a few websites and called for monitoring emails in the name of “national security”. But that didn’t happen and the internet media remains free in Zimbabwe.
The CIA World Factbook claimed in its report that 1.35 million Zimbabweans had access to the internet by 2007. The Zimbabwe Internet Usage and Marketing Report by the Internet World Stats claims that as many as 27 internet service providers operate to serve the users in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe newspapers and websites’ list
Zimbabwe has a big network of newspapers and websites and here below we have shared a list of them. With this list of prominent Zimbabwe newspapers and news websites, we have tried to explain the origin, operations, status and relevance of these Zimbabwean media entities.
Part 1: Zimbabwe newspapers
In the first part of the article, we will describe everything about the Zimbabwe newspapers that are widely read in the country and its neighboring nations.
The Herald is a national daily newspaper, owned by the government of Zimbabwe. In 2013, Caesar Zvayi was the editor of the state-owned newspaper that publishes in Zimbabwean capital Harare.
The Herald is known to be Zimbabwe’s oldest newspaper, running since the 19th century. It is successor to the “Mashonaland Herald and Zambesian Times”, which was launched by William Ernest Fairbridge on June 27, 1891. The newspaper was then owned by the Argus group of South Africa.
Initially, the newspaper was hand-written using a stencil copying technique, cyclostyle. However, by 1892, the Mashonaland Herald and Zambesian Times had become a printed newspaper with its name changed to The Rhodesia Herald.
It was the time, when the Argus group formed the Rhodesian Printing and Publishing Company to serve the readers from then Southern Rhodesia region.
After the citizens of Zimbabwe removed the Rhodesian Front government on November 11, 1965, the new government started censoring the content of The Rhodesia Herald. The newspaper expressed its protest to the censorship by publishing blank spaces from where the articles had been removed. The loyal reader base of The Rhodesia Herald joined them in the movement against censorship.
It was 1981 when Zimbabwe claimed independence and the then ruling government acquired The Herald along with the other papers owned by the Argus group. The Zimbabwean government took a grant of US$20 million from Nigeria to complete the deal with the Argus group.
The Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust was then established to look after the operations of all those newspapers with the Zimbabwe Newspapers, Ltd., named as their publisher.
The Herald has been accused of biased reporting time and again since the rule of Zanu-PF party under the presidency of Robert Mugabe. The ruling government used the state-owned newspaper for the criticism of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
NewsDay is a newspaper that started publishing in Harare 2010, becoming the first national independent daily in seven years of ban on independent media. In 2003, the Mugabe’s government banned the country’s last independent newspaper alleging bias in favour of the parties in opposition.
At the time of newspapers’ launch, The Guardian quoted NewsDay publisher Trevor Ncube saying that his newspaper will not promote “hate, divisiveness, abhorrent propaganda and personality cults”.
NewsDay owes the credit for its establishment to the then formed coalition government in Zimbabwe, which approved the printing of two other independent daily newspapers.
Attack On Independent Media
In 2003, when Zimbabwe’s last independent publication, Daily News, was banned, military explosives and grenades were used to bomb printing presses and offices of the newspaper. No investigations or arrests were ever made for those attacks.
In the same year, the journalists who were critical of the government were arrested and assaulted by the Mugabe loyalists. The government also imposed draconian laws to get rid of the independent media. Foreign media was banned from entering Zimbabwe, while four of the country based foreign reporters were expelled.
Apart from NewsDay, the independent publisher owns business weekly The Zimbabwe Independent, weekly national newspaper The Standard and national daily Southern Eye.
New Zimbabwe is a newspaper that has a website too based in Zimbabwe. According to its official Facebook page, New Zimbabwe was founded on June 2003. On its website, it claims to be “Zimbabwe’s leading online newspaper”.
New Zimbabwe is published by the New Zimbabwe Media Ltd. The tagline of New Zimbabwe is ‘The Zimbabwe News You Trust’.
One can follow New Zimbabwe on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for latest news, updates and alerts.
New Zimbabwe caters to the interest of its readers via different sections. It has several sections such as News, Business, Sports, Showbiz, Art & Culture, Health & Community, Opinion, Courts & Crime, Trending, Diaspora and Africa & World. It also has a section specifically dedicated to cover all news related to coronavirus pandemic.
“The platform brings you the latest breaking News, Business, Showbiz, Sports, Diaspora and gives you everything you’ve come to expect and love. Our Forums are vibrant and gives everyone a chance to be heard,” New Zimbabwe states on its website.
“NewZimbabwe.com is updated continually with the latest news to help you feed your addiction with stories & photos from Zimbabwe and many more,” it further writes.
Gilbert Nyambabvu is the editor of New Zimbabwe, while Nkosana Dhlamini is the deputy editor. Jeff Madzingo is the CEO of New Zimbabwe.
In case of any feedback or query on can contact New Zimbabwe‘s editorial team. You can write to the editorial team at their email address- email@example.com. You can directly contact the editor of the website via email address- firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chronicle is an English-language daily newspaper of Zimbabwe. The state-owned newspaper, which is one of the oldest newspapers in Africa, is published by Zimpapers.
The Chronicle is published in Bulawayo, which is Zimbabwe’s second largest city. It is also the largest city in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland. The Chronicle mostly covers news of Matebeleland region, southern part of Zimbabwe.
As it is state-owned, The Chronicle publishes news that supports government and its policies. It was founded by Argus Company of South Africa on 12 October, 1894. The Chronicle‘s editor is Mduduzi Mathuthu. The Sunday News is the weekend version of The Chronicle.
The Sunday News is a weekend version of The Chronicle. It is headquartered at Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. One can follow it on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The Sunday News website caters to the interest of its readers via different sections such as Business, Entertainment, Local, Sports, Agriculture, Opinion & Analysis.
The Sunday Mail is owned by Zimbabwe Newspapers. Its sister publications are The Herald, The Chronicle and H-Metro among others. The Sunday Mail was established in 1935 as a weekly newspaper. Besides its print edition, The Sunday Mail also has an online version.
The website caters to the interest of its readers through different sections such as Sports, Leisure, Society, Business and Opinion & Analysis among others. One can follow The Sunday Mail on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
For the unversed, Zimbabwe Newspapers is the oldest and largest publisher of newspapers in the country.
The Daily News is a daily independent newspaper of Zimbabwe. Founded in 1999 by Geoffrey Nyarota, it is headquartered in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.
Owned by Associated Newspapers Group, the first issue of The Daily Mail came out on 21 March 1999. The tagline of The Daily Mail is “Telling it like it is”.
The founder of The Daily News, Geoffrey Nyarota was earlier the editor of Bulawayo Chronicle. Besides being arrested six-time, Nyarota was also the target of the government’s assassination plot due to his stories. After being banned in 2003, The Daily Mail re-opened in 2010.
The Standard is a newspaper in Zimbabwe, which gets published weekly on Sunday. It is part of Alpha Media Holdings group, an independent media house. As claimed on its website, AMH group is “free from political ties or outside influence”. Its sister publications are Zimbabwe Independent and NewsDay. The Standard’s tagline is ‘Best Sunday Read’.
The Standard has an online edition as well. The website segregates the stories under different sections such as Entertainment, Sport, Editorial, Opinion and Standard Style.
As per the website, Kholwani Nyathi is the editor. One can write to the editor at the email address- email@example.com.
H Metro was founded by 2009. It is a tabloid owned by Zimpapers, the oldest and largest publisher of newspaper in Zimbabwe. The tagline of H Metro is ‘Real Life, Real Drama’.
“The truth is more scandalous than fiction,” the website writes in About Us section of its Facebook page. H Metro caters to the interest of its readers by segregating the stories under different sections like Religion, Sports, Entertainment among others.
H Metro is headquartered at Herald House, Corner George Silundika & Sam Nujoma in Harare. The Herald, The Chronicle, The Sunday Mail are some of its sister publications.
The Zimbabwean, founded in 2005, is a tabloid newspaper and also has an online edition. The Zimbabwean’s website has sections such as News, Sport, Business, Entertainment, Politics, Opinions, Lifestyle, Tech and Travel.
According to The Zimbabwean website, ‘Till October 2015, the hard copy was distributed free to disadvantaged rural communities in Zimbabwe’.
B-Metro was founded on 20 December, 2010. It is a weekly tabloid newspaper by Zimbabwe Newspapers Ltd. Headquartered at Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital.
One can follow B-Metro on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
For the unversed, Zimbabwe newspapers established in 1891 is the oldest and largest publisher of newspapers in Zimbabwe.
The Patriot is a newspaper and website of Zimbabwe headquartered in Harare. Tagline of The Patriot is ‘Celebrating Being Zimbabean’.
The Patriot website caters to the interest of its readers with sections such as Art, Feature, Farming, Business, Column, Education and Sport among others. For any query or feedback, one can write at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kwayedza is an indigenous language newspaper of Zimbabwe. Published in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, it is a weekly newspaper in Shona language.
Kwayedza is launched by Zimpapers, which is in the media industry since 1891. Kwayedza also has an online edition. One can write to the newspaper at email email@example.com.
The Manica Post is largest provincial newspaper of Zimbabwe. It also has an online edition. The Manica Post is headquartered at Mutare. According to Facebook, it was founded in the year 1893.
The website of Manica Post segregates the stories under sections such as Business, Crime & Courts, Entertainment, Health and Sports among others.
Part 2: Zimbabwe news websites
The second part of the article includes news websites, both government and privately-owned, operating in Zimbabwe.
ZimEye is a popular Zimbabwe-based news website that claims to provide the county’s journalists a platform to become “individual publishers”. The website aims to offer hard news in detail along with the political analysis of Zimbabwe’s daily affairs.
ZimEye boasts of a team that operates from across the globe and practices arts and journalism in their purest forms. The website writes in its about us section that the objective of ZimEye is to expose fake news and bring news developments in attention of the public.
The network owning ZimEye collectively sponsors and/or raise funds for various development projects of the community. It aims to integrate the public of Zimbabwe and develop the African nationals with professional skills as per their interests.
On the website, ZimEye explains the idea behind its name, saying: “the individual Zimbabwean and the way that person sees things.”
One can write to the editor of ZimEye, Frank Muchena, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shiellah Sibanda is the Education and Politics Editor and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Tina Norbury shares the responsibility of General Editorial with Simbarashe Chikanza|, who also acts as Senior Admin of the ZimEye. Emmanuel Chindove is General Editorial responsible for Video Programs.
Tsungai Chipato and Tonderai Garisayi are two correspondents of ZimEye, who operate in Canada. Steve Nkabinde is the US National Editor of the news website and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On social media, one can find and follow ZimEye using Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.
Bulawayo24 is a news website that was launched in 2010 to serve the readers from Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo. The website works 24/7 to cover all the news stories from Bulawayo, its neighboring cities and across the globe.
The editor of the news website can be contacted at email@example.com, while any news idea can be suggested on firstname.lastname@example.org. All other information about Bulawayo24 can be sought through email@example.com.
One can follow Bulawayo24 on Facebook and Twitter to get instant news updates.
On its official Facebook page, Bulawayo24 calls itself a “premier online news resource” for the residents of Bulawayo and Zimbabwe at large. The news website boasts of its 24 hour coverage of the local as well as the international news faster that the competition.
Nehanda Radio is a radio station that also owns a website that offers 24 hour coverage of news from Zimbabwe and around the world. The daily radio broadcasts are also uploaded on the website and one can join Nehanda Radio on SoundCloud to listen to these radio broadcasts and other news podcasts.
In the About Us section of the website, Nehanda Radio says it aims to cover breaking news on a real time basis using a popular email alert system. The listeners of Nehanda Radio and readers of the website can easily subscribe to these news alerts.
Nehanda Radio aims to be a game changer in the Zimbabwean media history as it claims on the website that the country “is in the midst of a great tragedy”. The website further adds that it has “a role to play in informing everyone involved” to bring in a positive change in the society.
Nehanda Radio credits its existence to Mbuya Nehanda, the spiritual leader of the Shona who led the Chimurenga (revolutionary struggle) against the colonisation of Zimbabwe by British South Africa Company and its Cecil John Rhodes in 1889
“She was the spirit medium that was the inspiration behind the 1896-97 first chimurenga. When the Europeans arrived in Zimbabwe, Nehanda’s spirit medium was a woman by the name of Nyakasikana,” Nehanda Radio explains the idea behind its name on the website.
One can write to the editor of the Nehanda Radio news website for any query or suggestion related to news items or opinion pieces at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harare Bureau of Nehanda Radio is managed by Never Kadungure and Tatenda Dewa, while Thulani Ncube looks after the Bulawayo Bureau of the radio service.
Owen Mbanje is responsible for Gweru Bureaum, while the Mutare Bureau operates under the supervision of Priscilla Muchinguri. Rodwell Maguta heads the Masvingo Bureau of Nehanda Radio.
iHarare is a Zimbabwean news website that calls itself an “online news blog” in its About Us section. The website aims to cover every news story from all perspectives, presenting a neutral stand.
iHarare came into existence in 2013 and sooner became Zimbabwe’s one of the leading online publications. The news website promises to be the first to break any news story in Zimbabwe the moment it happens.
The mission shared on the website of iHarare is “to create a one-stop online solution” for the readers of the African nation. The main objective of iHarare is to accurately report on an incident with no bias.
iHarare is courageous enough to expose the people involved in the scenes and delivers timely updates with complete responsibility.
Sharon Chirisa is the Editor-in-chief of iHarare. She describes herself as a multilingual writer and reader along with traits of a “certified nerd”. On the website, Chirisa also boasts of having “a really wicked sense of humour”.
Chirisa has a personal library full of over 700 ebooks and she frequently cites many of them in her everyday address to the iHarare‘s editorial team.
One can get in touch with Chirisa at email@example.com.
Timothy Ndoro is the Assistant editor of iHarare and he describes himself as traveller with “keen interest in photography and writing”. One can write to him at IamTimNdoro@gmail.com.
My Zimbabwe News is a news website that describes itself as a “Zimbabwean Internet Newspaper” in the footnote of the home page. My Zimbabwe News reports latest breaking news related to the country’s politics, social values, economy, community news and sports news to serve readers from Zimbabwe and abroad.
One can follow My Zimbabwe News on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
On its official Facebook page, My Zimbabwe News calls itself a “Social Networking website for Zimbabweans”. With the coverage of latest and “craziest news” of Zimbabwe, My Zimbabwe News claims to be the best and fastest growing website in the region.
Mbare Times is an online magazine cum news website of Zimbabwe that offers latest news and entertainment news to all its readers. The website also offers browser alerts to its visitor.
Mbare Times has a separate tab for Zim News, besides sections like Entertainment, COVID-19, Sports, World, Food and Scandals.
Zimbabwe Situation is a news website that defines itself as a “daily archive from Zimbabwe covering every important and relevant media article” in its About Us section.
The website is in existence since March 2000. Zimbabwe Situation was started by a group of dedicated people who gathered and posted press clips to bring the national crisis in the world view.
Zimbabwe Mail is a Zimbabwean online daily newspaper that boasts of hosting its website on a comprehensive internet media platform.
The website says on its official Facebook page that “authority and strength originate from the people”. It adds that Zimbabwe Mail has a mission to disseminate news from Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.
Part 3: Zimbabwe business newspapers, websites
The third part of the article features news websites and newspapers popular in Zimbabwe for their extensive coverage of all news related to Business.
The Zimbabwe Independent, a private business weekly published on Friday, is headquartered at Harare, Zimbabwe. It is published by the Alpha Media Holdings.
The Zimbabwe Independent’s sister publications are NewsDay and The Standard.
“AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence,” The Zimbabwe Independent writes in its About Us section.
According to its Facebook page, the founding date of the Zimbabwe Independent is 1996. It has an online edition as well.
The Zimbabwe Independent has sections such as Business, Opinion & Analysis, Sport and Lifestyle. While Dumisani Muleya is the editor, John Mokwetsi is the online editor.
The Financial Gazette is a weekly-based newspaper of Zimbabwe. The English-language newspaper was founded in 1969. It mainly covers news related to business, finance and politics across Southern Africa.
The Financial Gazette is headquartered in Harare. “Oldest business and financial newspaper in the country,” it claims on the Facebook page.
Part 4: Zimbabwe sports newspapers, websites
The fourth part of the article features news websites and newspapers popular in Zimbabwe for their extensive coverage of all news related to sports.
“Soccer24 is the leading football website in Zimbabwe,” it claims in the Contact Us section of its website. Soccer24 caters to the interests of its football-loving readers with sections such as Airtime, Local, International, Players Abroad and Prediction Game.
“Breaking News, analysis, opinion, match updates of Zimbabwean football and more,” the website writes in its Twitter bio.
Soccer24 is available on social media platforms. You can follow the website on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and news related to soccer.
In case of any confusion, query or feedback, you can write to Soccer24 at their email address- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sport | Herald
The Herald’s online edition has a special section for the coverage of news related to sports. Besides sports, the state-owned newspaper has sections like National and Business.
Headquartered in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, it is published by Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Ltd. Its sister publications are The Chronicle and H-Metro among others.
Sports – NewsDay
NewsDay also has an online edition specially dedicated to sports news.
Besides Sports, the NewsDay website has sections such as Business, Art & Culture among others. Founded in 2010, its editor is Barnabas Thondlana. Its sister publications are The Zimbabwe Independent and Southern Eye.
The Zimbabwean media has to opt for self-censorship at times when it reports on government affairs. The 2002 Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which replaced the Law and Order Maintenance Act (LOMA), has forced many of the independent press outlets to shut their operations, including The Daily News in 2002.
While some of the newspapers and news websites still work independently in Zimbabwe, all the broadcasting media channels have to toe the government line.
Harare-based Herald is the oldest and most prominent newspaper that writes all well about the Zimbabwe’s ruling government. The Information Ministry of the country also controls the news in Bulawayo-based Chronicle.
The private press tries to criticise the government but mostly have to withdraw due to tremendous pressure.
The newspapers have become an expensive source of information for the readers in Zimbabwe as most of them can’t afford the cover prices. Add to this, the stricter laws and institutions aiming to take control of the media cause additional headaches for the publishers.
A journalist can be sentenced to prison if he or she is “publishing false news”. On most of the occasions, the government has used this rule to shut down journalists who were otherwise critical of its policies. To keep control over journalists, the law says they must register themselves with the authority to avoid imprisonment.
Since newspapers are expensive for most of the citizens, radio remains commonly used medium for news in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is state owned and owns two TV channels and four radio networks. Two private FM radio channels operate on a national level in Zimbabwe.
According to the Internetworldstats.com, around 6.7 million people had access to the internet in 2017. United States-based Freedom House has reported that the online media is relatively free from government rules.
While the propelling industry knows no bounds, we at MediaBuzz are working hard to provide encyclopedic coverage of all the news sources. We are a team of professional writers with a knack for the trends in the world of journalism.
We are always looking for suggestions to produce a more concise list.
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