ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) is launching the Southern Eye in response to calls by people in the south of the country who called for a paper that was specifically focused on serving the region, group chairman Trevor Ncube said Thursday.
By Staff Reporter
Southern Eye will be launched on Monday as AMH — publishers of NewsDay, the Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard — moves in to satisfy a hunger for quality local content, Ncube said.
“Southern Eye builds on the success of NewsDay Southern Edition, which has grown significantly over the past two years,” he said. “It is a response to both readers and advertisers in southern Zimbabwe who want a product that is specifically focused on this region.
“As currently structured the southern edition is limited in the amount of local content it carries, as this competes with national news.
“Only a standalone publication can satisfy the hunger for news that reflects the mood in this part of the country.”
“Southern Eye will focus on Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland. It is a paper for the people of the South.”
Southern Eye is a publication focused on serving the people of Matabeleland, Masvingo and Midlands provinces. AMH editor-in-chief Vincent Kahiya said Southern Eye was a unique platform for citizens in southern Zimbabwe to discuss real issues affecting their communities.
“We already have a large number of readers in the southern part of the country who tell us they want more of our on-the-ground reporting,” he said.
“We are upping our game to ensure that we don’t disappoint our readers who are yearning for lively commentary and groundbreaking open journalism in which readers are not mere audiences, but active participants in content sourcing and formulating debate.”
AMH has built a strong team led by seasoned journalists Kholwani Nyathi, Njabulo Ncube and Nqaba Matshazi, editor, deputy editor and news editor, respectively.
The editors will lead a team that will employ modern technologies to cover the issues that really matter to the region and connect people of the south to the group’s ever-growing digital audiences. AMH has adopted “Digital First” as a strategy to encourage user generated content and initiate interactivity.
The Southern Eye website, Facebook page and Twitter presence will provide platforms for interactivity and dialogue.
“Collectively our digital platforms have more than 800 000 unique visits a month and more than six million page impressions,” group online editor John Mokwetsi said.
“Our Facebook pages have more than 145 000 active participants, who discuss topical issues and even guide our content.
“We have engaged readers on our Twitter account that is nearing a staggering 20 000 members, a huge figure considering the micro-blogging site’s popularity is only picking up now in Zimbabwe.”
As part of this expansion, AMH has moved to new spacious and more accessible premises at the intersection of Robert Mugabe Road and 12th Ave. The premises — once renovations are complete — will house all AHM operations in Bulawayo, including the distribution arm, Munn Markerting.