Another independent daily newspaper was launched in Zimbabwe Monday bringing to five the number of dailies in the southern African country as it heads towards crucial elections sometime this year.
The Southern Eye, which is expected to serve the country’s five southern provinces, was launched in the country’s second largest city of Bulawayo with politicians, business people and representatives of the local community in attendance.
Published by Alpha Media Holdings, the newspaper will compete with the state-controlled Chronicle that critics say has not adequately covered the region.
Alpha Holdings Media also publishes the Standard, the Independent and NewsDay newspapers.
The provinces of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South, Midlands and Masvingo will take delivery of the newspaper daily. Officials told VOA they were motivated to introduce a newspaper in the region because they felt it was under served, largely marginalized and under-developed.
Editor Kolwani Nyathi said the newspaper is a much-needed voice for Zimbabweans in the five provinces. He said the current daily and weekly newspapers largely cover national politics and issues ignoring issues in their backyard.
“What we are seeking to do as Southern Eye is to go deeper to where the majority of our people live, people in the rural areas,” said Nyathi. He adds the media currently suffers from the “urban phenomenon,” where most of the news in the media is about what is happening in the cities.
The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe says the new newspaper was long overdue, adding it will serve a region that has been largely marginalized.
MMPZ deputy coordinator for research and mentoring, Edson Madondo, said the Southern Eye should avoid focusing on politics but concentrate on other issues affecting the region.