A Voice for the Voiceless
We are a group of committed and professional Zimbabwean journalists and friends from around the world who came together in 2005 to make a stand for freedom of the press in the face of a news blackout by the Zanu (PF) government in Zimbabwe. Since then The Zimbabwean has grown into an internationally respected publication that tells Zimbabweans and the rest of the world what is really happening inside the country. It also provides a platform for national dialogue via its various platforms, which include Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Letters to the Editor and the website.
It is edited by Wilf Mbanga, founder and first Chief Executive of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, the publishers of The Daily News (closed down in 2003 under the terms of the Zimbabwe Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act).
The Zimbabwean is an independent, tabloid newspaper and online publication: www.thezimbabwean.co. It leverages the funding received from donors to distribute the newspaper mainly to rural communities, where 80% are women and young people who have hardly any access to independent media or vital information sources. The full contents of each issue are available on the website and include: news based on information and reports from a wide range of NGOs and civil society organizations, a roundup of general news, news analysis, feedback from readers via SMS, email and letters, profiles, features as well as some entertainment and sport to ensure a well-rounded publication that is credible, attractive and readable. We avoid language that entrenches the current atmosphere of confrontation that is pervasive in the national dialogue. Special attention is given to women’s and human rights, electoral and constitutional issues, national healing, and the accountability of government and its officials.
The Zimbabwean is the most widely distributed independent newspaper in the country, available in a tabloid print format and published online at: www.thezimbabwean.co
Recognised worldwide as an accurate newspaper of record and a reliable source of information, its reporting is quoted in the quality international press. The Zimbabwean ensures that its coverage is fair and balanced by providing all viewpoints on the issues that it covers, and providing all, regardless of affiliation, the right of reply.
The paper has been a constant thorn in the side of the Zimbabwean authorities, who hi-jacked and burnt one of our delivery trucks containing 60,000 copies of The Zimbabwean on Sunday in 2008 following the abortive Presidential run-off poll. Following that, the Mugabe regime imposed a punitive duty as a tariff barrier in order to kill the newspaper. We survived this, although with a drastically reduced print run, and it was finally lifted in August 2009.
We believe in the basic right of all people to receive and impart information, i.e. to communicate.
We believe in the free flow of diverse, accurate and relevant information through mass media.
We believe in mass media that is accessible and answerable to the people it seeks to serve.
We believe the establishment of vibrant, non-governmental mass media is vital to democracy.
We believe those in positions of authority and power should be held accountable to those they are supposed to serve, and that a free media is fundamental to ensuring such accountability.
The Zimbabwean will be an authoritative and accurate newspaper of record and a reliable source of information to all those individuals, agencies and governments with an interest in Zimbabwe.
A news blackout is dangerous for any society. We will ensure that our coverage is accurate, fair and balanced. We will be accountable to our readers.
We will endeavour to give all viewpoints, and everyone will have the right of reply. In short, we will do everything the government newspapers in Zimbabwe are not allowed to do!