Mr President, thank you for listening

HARARE - Life is practical.

President Robert Mugabe has now confirmed what we have been saying all along — that he must immediately amend the indigenisation policy to make it friendly to investors not the thuggish way it was being implemented.

While a few critics may continue to proclaim otherwise, I firmly believe that Zimbabwean journalism is not dead, particularly if the kind of searing newspapering that we practice at the Daily News is anything to go by.

Indeed, love us or hate us, no one can ever discount the Daily News and its award-winning journalists who, in some cases, literally put their lives on the line as they go out of their way to cover news, scandals and events that would otherwise go unnoticed or continue to fester unexposed.

Our story, since we re-launched our newspaper three years ago, following eight years of forced and unjust closure by Mugabe’s government, confirms the common sense that with the right amount of hard work, business savvy and community support, a company — in our case, a newspaper — can achieve amazing results, as we are doing.

Yes, the newspaper model is changing fast, even here in Uncle Bob’s land.

What, with the challenging operating economic environment — thanks to Zanu PF mismanagement; rising competition; and the ever advancing technological changes that are impacting negatively on traditional news consumption patterns.

Yet, despite all this, the Daily News is thriving — both at editorial and commercial levels.

Which raises the question of why this is so?

Without sounding boastful, our cutting edge is aptly captured in our motto, “Telling it like it is, without fear or favour”.

Yes, in our newsroom we take no prisoners, and our newspapers are owned and run by people with ink in their veins, not dollar signs in their eyes!

Let me elaborate on this a bit more before I come to the nub of this opinion piece.

Newswire Associated Press once pondered on the difficult question of what makes for a great newspaper and came up with the following four key traits — leadership, integrity, accuracy and responsibility — which I absolutely agree with.

Take the issue of leadership for example, that is, acting with courage in serving the public and our readers even in the face of fierce criticism and opposition.

We have undeniably become the leading daily newspaper in the country in this respect, and readers love us for this.

In this regard, we have often supported efforts by many business people, politicians, public officials and individuals to do good works in the community and for our country, when it has not been obvious to many that this is in the interest of our long-suffering country.

Similarly too, we have often served as a constructive critic of Zanu PF and the government at all levels, a necessary and bold stand that has often elicited erroneous criticism and malicious action, as happened to us 10 years ago when we were unjustly shut down — even though history has recorded that we have been right most of the time we have done so.

Many readers will have learnt yesterday of a major climb-down by the Government around the important matter of indigenisation and empowerment, which the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday have run countless lead stories on, over the past three years,much to the chagrin of a few misguided Zanu PF and government big-wigs.

We have been lampooned and insulted as lackeys of whites and as stooges of Western countries, with some even alleging that our principled stand has been prompted by the evidently fictitious “fact” that we were recipients of Western donor funds.

What holy tripe!

Now our principled media leadership on this crucial matter stands completely vindicated by both senior Zanu PF and government officials who also now see the folly of the indiscriminate implementation of Zimbabwe’s ill-considered empowerment policies as had been proposed by former indigenisation minister Savior Kasukuwere.

And virtually all of the fly by night critics who savaged us on this matter with flaming vitriol now sit with plenty of egg on their faces, disembowelled by practicality, reason and rationality.

For some time, it really was very fashionable for some in positions of authority to attack the Daily News for its principled stand on this and many other matters, including our unmatched coverage of the concomitant “Nieebgate Scandal.”

While we are happy that the government is finally seeing the light on indigenisation, much more remains to be done in this endeavour, as most of the proponents of this necessary empowerment were doing so on partisan and patently corrupt levels.

This whole issue also demonstrates very clearly why we always choose to err on the side of the Zimbabwean people, rather than to please our big ego “chefs” as some chose to do.

After all, acting in principle is not and can never be a popularity contest.

Indeed, the job of journalists and editors is often a lonely one, involving the difficult decision of choosing and covering thoroughly all aspects of our society, including the good, the bad and the very ugly such as the unacceptably high levels of corruption and malfeasance in our country.

I firmly believe that we at the Daily News are doing well as a newspaper, and sometimes punching well above our weight, because we are not just prepared to tell it like it is, even when it is not convenient or politically correct to do so, but also because we intensively cover the goings-on in our society very well, which endears us to our readers and advertisers.

And when a newspaper plays its part in forcing a major policy shift, then it is performing its duty as a member of the Fourth Estate.

Let those who operate and scheme in dark alleys be warned.

We are watching you!

 

Comments (16)

thumbs up Daily News!!!!

CT - 26 May 2014

Please Mr Editor it not for you to praise your newspaper. If you think that Mugabe changed his mind as a consequence of what we say , that includes the press, you are sadly deluding yourself. The implosion of our economy has 'forced' to to change his mind. Please remember this man only understands one thing & that is 'force'!

saundy - 26 May 2014

and do not get carried away though, we doing this only for the sake of milage but we always in control coz we are masters of our own .

zanu ndonga - 26 May 2014

come 2018 there will be another survival lie presented to the people. poor zanu supporters.

s - 27 May 2014

Mr editor taurai nyaya yenyu sematangiro amiita kwete kuti wanzira kupembedza bepa renyu haikona kudhakisa bepa

prince - 27 May 2014

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WERTHJITFCF - 27 May 2014

We need Industrial Emergence Recovery Act with favorable terms

freddy - 27 May 2014

you are actually the worst propaganda newspaper, even worse than the herald

Taliban - 27 May 2014

you are actually the worst propaganda newspaper, even worse than the herald

Taliban - 27 May 2014

Hate it as you like ,but THE DAILY NEWS reports well. We only hope the president is serious.

RWADZISAI - 27 May 2014

@Taliban, I guess you spend so much time reading the newspaper and its website, and making your frivolous comments, because it is so bad. Right?

Moses - 27 May 2014

Total false,DAILY NEWS is one of the best newspapers in Zimbabwe.The herald is well known even by school-going kids that it is a shameless gvt mouthpiece. Please Talibani,leave DAILY NEWS & read your hogwash in the Herald.It is clear the president now understands 'THE INDIGENIZATION POLICY'is bad for our economy as it stands at least for now.

KUKANYAHURANGANA - 27 May 2014

Total false,DAILY NEWS is one of the best newspapers in Zimbabwe.The herald is well known even by school-going kids that it is a shameless gvt mouthpiece. Please Talibani,leave DAILY NEWS & read your hogwash in the Herald.It is clear the president now understands 'THE INDIGENIZATION POLICY'is bad for our economy as it stands at least for now.

KUKANYAHURANGANA - 27 May 2014

To think this is what we have been saying along

protestor - 27 May 2014

I do not agree with you on this one, first of all Daily News is not the only newspaper that has been publishing about the damage done by the Indegenisation policy. It is just a matter of the implimenters having felt the heat. The conditions on the ground have shown them that it is an unworkable and disastrous policy hence they have decided to make the changes. How many articles have you penned urging the President to step down and has he?

Dr Know - 27 May 2014

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