What's your gripe Conway?

HARARE - A Spaniard by the name of Baltasar Gracian is credited with the saying: “The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause”.

Still on the same subject, one Jennifer James also crafted these profound words: “Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point — that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you”.

I have quoted these distinguished writers to underscore the gobsmacking fascination and envy that some supposed competitor publications and their journalists have with the Daily News— and the extent to which they will go to find something to write about us.

The obvious conclusion to make here, one supposes, is that it is more interesting to follow and write about the Daily News, its manifest successes, its rich history, its multi-awarded staff and its winning stories than be bored by the goings-on at these other media houses!

But as Baltasar Gracian puts it, let these envious newsmen be warned: They risk suffering unnecessary heart attacks because of their jealousy, and sometimes malice. For, the indisputable fact is that the Daily News is getting stronger and more successful by the day — notwithstanding the bitterness and ill will of its detractors.

And as Jennifer James also puts it, their jealousy is simply and clearly a manifestation of their fear that they and their publications “do not have value”. To that extent, they are always scanning for evidence to prove the point — that others such as the Daily News, its editors and writers will be preferred and rewarded more than them!

The Daily News’ short but stunning performance since it was given the green light to re-launch operations two years ago bears this out!

Indeed, apart from our commercial, circulation and readership success, we have also exclusively exposed the biggest and juiciest mega stories of the past two years in Zimbabwe, including Zesagate and Nieebgate — to underline our editorial leadership in the industry.

There was a time in our industry when nothing was more unedifying than newspapers wasting their valuable column centimetres tearing at each other instead of writing the important things that their readers really care about —their country and welfare.

In those times, diligent editors and their journalists concentrated on sharpening their craft and product offering — instead of concentrating on what was supposedly wrong with other media houses, their stories and their writing styles.

We at the Daily News have generally chosen to take this high moral ground and focus on our scoops, big investigative stories and winning content, rather than dwell on what other would-be competitors were doing wrong, as they always do.

We simply chose not to waste our valuable space that way. And frankly, our readers don’t really care about what some media house somewhere may and may not be doing right, or what some old, bitter and failed newshound working in that media house may or may not be hallucinating about.

But there is a line that rational people ought to know should not be crossed, which is what one Conway Tutani, who works for one of our competitors is now repeatedly fond of doing, for whatever reasons.

Let me be very clear here. Conway is entitled to his views.  He is even entitled to read the Daily News as avidly and as closely as he clearly does — and then to be very critical of us.

But to love the Daily News this much is one thing. To not let facts get in the way of his misguided rants, and to go on to manufacture facts as he did in his “column” yesterday is entirely another matter.

And quite frankly, this is embarrassing for a journalist of his supposed experience.

Without wanting to further inflame emotions and give away too much information around the Makandiwa matter, as some well-meaning people are making laudable efforts to resolve this issue amicably, let me state unequivocally that Conway’s knowledge and understanding of what has happened is, suffice to say, just marginally better than zero.

And I am being kind here and will leave it there for now.

But perhaps even more importantly for me are his pathetic attempts to airbrush history and to, curiously if not worryingly, ingratiate himself with media regulation authorities. Why, Conway, why?

Is this really coming from someone working for an independent media organisation?

Does this so-called veteran of our industry really think that media regulation authorities are there to regulate State media?

Staggeringly, Conway believes that the Daily News was shut down justly in September 2003 because its management “refused to register the paper and get a licence as required by the law”.

Wow! Let all dinosaurs who have just landed on Mother Earth from another planet, and are thus completely clueless about our country’s history and reality know this: The misnamed Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) was solely crafted to silence the Daily News.

By the way Conway, we have a video recording of its murderous architects boasting about how they destroyed the Daily News, how they crafted Aippa for this purpose and why the newspaper was never supposed to come back.

One can only conclude that your laughable and false allegation that the Daily News was shut down because its managers refused to register the paper is meant to please certain political and economic interests.

For, if your twisted logic were true, and it is not, the other private newspapers who “complied with the law” but were still closed down by the authorities, after us, would not have suffered that fate if registration was the issue.

In addition Conway, and thanks to its competent lawyers, the Daily News won countless legal victories in the Administrative Court, High Court and Supreme Court to overturn its unjust closure, to no avail.

All this is on record Mr Tutani, if you should ever wish to bother yourself, get off your chair and do the basic research that you so self-righteously exhort others to do.

So why did these dozens of court victories count for nothing if registration was the issue? And why are we back in business now if registration was the issue?

The good news for our hundreds of thousands of readers and advertisers is that the Daily News’ well-deserved market reputation and commercial success are not made by malicious detractors that lurk in all kinds of unexpected corners.

The quality of our products is what has made us who we are.  In fact, the more that a few tortured souls have sought to malign us, the more they have seemingly elevated our standing and business. - Chris Goko, Executive Deputy Editor

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