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Ending the news blockade
The launch of NewsDay in June 2010 was a landmark in Zimbabwe’s recent history: it ended President Robert Mugabe’s seven-year control of daily news.
With the appearance of NewsDay, for the first time since 2003 Zimbabweans had daily access to an alternative, objective source of news. The state-owned Herald had enjoyed a monopoly since the last independent daily was forced to close after a bomb attack.
Founded by Trevor Ncube – Zimbabwean journalist, entrepreneur and owner of South Africa’s leading investigative newspaper the Mail & Guardian (also and MDIF client) – with financing from MDIF, NewsDay quickly established itself in the market. Business has grown steadily, with public demand leading it to raise its print-run from 20,000 to 30,000 during the first six months and advertising growing strongly in an economy that is slowly recovering from hyper-inflation and years of mismanagement.
NewsDay provides quality journalism and critical comment to people starved of unbiased information. Labelled “the most significant accomplishment of the power-sharing Government between President Mugabe and the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, to carry out democratic reforms” by The Times of London, NewsDay has established itself as an indispensable source of news. NewsDay will play a crucial role in the democratic development of post-Mugabe Zimbabwe.
MDIF provided launch capital for NewsDay and for its publishing company to open a printing house in Harare, ensuring that the newspaper would not be reliant on state-owned printers. We have also provided a range of management assistance and strategic advice to help improve the paper’s business and digital capacities.