It’s only the beginning

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TODAY is the last day your favourite newspaper, Southern Eye, will be on the streets as a standalone publication.

However, this does not in any way mark the end of the newspaper that has carved its own niche in southern Zimbabwe in the short three years of existence.

Starting April 1, Southern Eye will be incorporated in NewsDay as part of the remodelling of Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) business strategy.

Southern Eye was launched on June 3 2013 in response to calls by people of the south of the country for a paper that was specifically focused on serving the region.

The paper joined NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard in the AMH stable, which is well known for its independence and fearless approach to issues affecting ordinary Zimbabweans.

Southern Eye built on the success of NewsDay Southern Edition, which saw advertisers and readers from southern Zimbabwe clamouring for a product that carried more content from the region.

The standalone publication was quickly embraced by the region as evidenced by the growth in copy sales and digital presence soon after its launch.

Southern Eye had over 37 500 likes on Facebook and 9 693 followers on Twitter as of yesterday.

These eye-catching statistics, especially for Facebook, dwarf those of other publications based in Bulawayo, which have been in existence for over 100 years.

However, certain economic imperatives have made it necessary for the print edition of the newspaper to be discontinued.

Fortunately, the phenomenal growth of the Southern Eye on online platforms dovetails with AMH’s “digital first” strategy.

Therefore, a lot of resources and time will now be devoted into upgrading the Southern Eye digital platforms in line with the new thrust.

The team will employ modern technologies to cover issues that really matter to the region as a continuation of the work started by the print edition,

Southern Eye online will continue to connect people of the south to the group’s ever-growing digital audiences to complement the print edition that would be incorporated into NewsDay.

Southern Eye is certainly here to stay and the new chapter it enters tomorrow is just the beginning of an exciting future.