Monday, March 26, 2007

Zimbabwe to launch world news channel by close of April

News24, a new 24-hour news radio channel owned by ZBC [Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation] is set to start operations by the end of next month, Zimbabwe’s information minister announced on ZBC’s Spot FM on 22 March. Information and publicity minister Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu announced the launch of the station whilst conducting a tour of the ZBC studios in the midlands city of Gweru, Spot FM said.
The ZBC Spot FM report said: “News24, the 24-hour radio station which initially was under New Ziana and later transferred to ZBC ownership is set to commence operations in just a month’s time. There are just a few touches that need to be made. Dr Ndlovu told ZBC management that if they present their requirements in good time, resources would be availed for the project. He emphasized that priority is to be given to the project which is fundamental in telling the true Zimbabwean story. News24 will use the Short Wave link, which means it will go international. It is hoped the new station will counter negative publicity churned out by the international media.”
The station also announced that Happison Muchechetere will head the News24 channel, which would “represent Zimbabwean interests, the same way CNN and BBC news channels represent American and British interests.”
Muchechetere told Spot FM that News24 would broadcast “basically 24 hours, seven days a week. We intend to reach out to SADC [Southern Africa Development Community], as far as North Africa, and as far as Europe. We are going to give a Zimbabwean perspective of news.”
(Source: ZBC Radio Spot FM, Bulawayo, in English 0500 gmt 22 Mar 07 via BBC Monitoring/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)