The Herald (Zimbabwe)

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Herald House, Harare

The Herald is a government owned daily newspaper published in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The newspaper's origins date back to the 19th century. Its forerunner was launched on 27 June 1891 by William Earnest Fairbridge[1] for the Argus group of South Africa. Named the Mashonaland Herald and Zambesian Times, it was a weekly, hand-written news sheet produced using the cyclostyle duplicating process. In October the following year it became a printed newspaper and changed its name to The Rhodesia Herald.[2]

The Argus group later set up a subsidiary called the Rhodesian Printing and Publishing Company[3] to run its newspapers in what was then Southern Rhodesia.

After the white minority Rhodesian Front government unilaterally declared independence on 11 November 1965, it started censoring The Rhodesia Herald. The newspaper responded by leaving blank spaces where articles had been removed, enabling readers to gauge the extent of the censorship.[citation needed]

Copy of The Rhodesia Herald, 1976

Post Independence[edit]

In 1981, after Zimbabwe became independent, the government bought The Herald and other papers from the Argus group, using a US$20 million grant from Nigeria,[4] and established the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust[5] to operate them. The Trust created Zimbabwe Newspapers, Ltd., as the publisher of the papers.

Sister Papers[edit]

Other newspapers published by the same group include The Sunday Mail in Harare, The Chronicle and Sunday News in Bulawayo and the Manica Post in Mutare.[6] The Chronicle, launched in October 1894 as The Bulawayo Chronicle, is the second oldest newspaper in the country.[7]

Controversy[edit]

The Herald has for some time been noted for its completely one sided reporting for the government of President Robert Mugabe and the Zanu-PF party, and its demonisation of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). It often accuses the MDC of being agents of colonial powers.[8]

The Herald faces limited competition from within Zimbabwe, although there are still several independent newspapers based in Zimbabwe, such as the Independent, due to very restrictive accreditation laws in Zimbabwe.[9][10] Many opposition media claim that the paper has evolved into an instrument of rather crude and aggressive propaganda.[11] (On the other hand, it often offers important insights into the workings of the Zanu-PF elite.) The editorial staff are open in their partisanship.[12] The paper makes no pretense of impartiality. The editors also support the restrictions on opposition newspapers. Their rationale for this is explained as follows by Caesar Zvayi, a regular contributor to the Herald:

"A free Press is vital for a vibrant society. But you have to understand the context in which the Zimbabwean State is operating. It is under siege from some Western countries, some of which – like the US – openly admit to sponsoring the media and various opposition groups to discredit the Government. ... How independent will the Press be if they are funded by an outsider who openly declares his intention to unseat the incumbent Government?"[citation needed]

In mid-May 2008, its website was briefly shut down by cyber hackers.[citation needed]

Current editor[edit]

As of October 2013, the Editor of the Herald was Ceasar Zvayi.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]