ZIMBABWE Newspapers (Zimpapers) Limited is geared to launch its television station in line with its thrust to consolidate its status as the country’s leading integrated media house.
The idea for a television station, Zimpapers TV Network (ZTN), was mooted four years ago.
Zimpapers Group Editorial Executive Mr William Chikoto, said the country’s biggest media organisation, has started training journalists ahead of the launch of ZTN.
“Zimpapers is poised for exciting times and if you recall about five or six years ago we started a converge programme and we said we are aspiring to be a fully integrated media house with print, radio, digital and television,” he said.
“We have now started the training of our journalists and getting ready in anticipation of acquiring a television licence. With television if you get a licence today and you are not prepared, it might take you another year or two to be ready. So we have been preparing for the past three to four years and spending a lot of money on the project.”
More than 20 journalists from Zimpapers’ newspaper division in Bulawayo underwent a two-day training programme in television reporting. The workshop was facilitated by media and film expert, Mr Ben Mahaka, veteran journalist and media consultant Mr Cris Chinaka and ZTN executive producer Mr Elton Mjanana.
Mr Chikoto, who is in charge of convergence of content across all Zimpapers’ platforms, said news and current affairs would be the backbone of ZTN.
“We said that print was going to be the building block of that convergence. In other words we operate like a content factory where the journalists who are mostly print write content for use in our different platforms. We have achieved a lot in terms of radio and online and what was left was television. We are banking on our seasoned journalists in print and radio to see us through,” he said.
Mr Chikoto said Zimpapers has injected much money towards the television project.
“We have sunk thousands and thousands of dollars. Television is expensive, but we believe it’s a worthwhile investment. It is the future for Zimpapers and the resources that we are generating from our newspapers and radio are being used to prepare in terms of digital and television,” he said.
“We used money from newspapers to start radio stations that include Star FM and Diamond FM and now it’s the same resources that we are rolling over into digital and television.”
Zimpapers is the leading integrated media, commercial printing and packaging company in Zimbabwe. It is also the country’s oldest newspaper publisher and commercial printer, as well as being the largest publisher of newspapers, having been in the industry since 1891.
The company publishes 13 newspaper titles and runs a broadcasting division.
Zimpapers in partnership with New Era Newspapers of Namibia jointly launched a regional weekly newspaper; Southern Times in 2004.
The company also has a strong presence on digital publishing platforms.