Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

A media relic called New Ziana

By Mumera Wisdom

A grime and rust coated relic of news delivery from a period when people waited for printed news the day after it happened.

File Picture: Zimpapers CEO Pikirayi Deketeke (second from left) stresses a point to the then Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo
File Picture: Zimpapers CEO Pikirayi Deketeke (second from left) stresses a point to the then Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo

In the fast paced news delivery system of today New Ziana has managed to do the unthinkable and remain alive and hiccupping on without relevance or modern sturdiness.

It’s a plodding weakling surviving due to the benevolence of competitors and fawning love of its creator caught up in bigger matters to question its incessant suckling of financial assistance.

It does not have the efficiency of the worldwide web and social media but like an ignorant fool has kept on its own path oblivious and uncaring if it’s achieving anything.

It does not even have a website.

Located in an equally tired building that still bores marks from the pre-independence era and is freckled with peeling off paint, New Ziana is bordered on both sides by organisations of a religious nature.

There is the Scripture Union on the right side with its books purporting to provide the ultimate and only solution to a myriad problems.

On the other side are United Methodist church offices.

Across the road are the nuns of Catholic piousness at Dominican Convent.

New Ziana has however failed to tap into any of those religious neighbours and elicit any modicum of sanctity and humanity in its delivery of duty or functionality.

It has remained a reclusive old institute of archaic functions, silly rules and dead feelings towards those in its vicinity.

These include interns who are given nothing for their labours and are made to feel as out of depth as possible in the newsroom so as to negate any financial thoughts.

New Ziana also has a radio. So what, you may ask.

It’s another relic. A functioning iron-age machine from the 1970’s that still wheezes out Star FM in a muted tone that can be lost in the din of everyday going-about.

Its staying alive embodies the spirit of New Ziana as an institution defying age, relevance and backwardness to stay in the mix of things, functioning according to its own set rules, and breathing on.

All against conventionality.

That jutting trait, however awkward, becomes something of a private cavern in which in times of modern pressure the whole company retreats to for spiritual edification.

How New Ziana still exists today as a reputable news agency without a website is surprising and shows the weakness of state regulation concerning some state enterprises.

Far from it being a luxury addition a website is now requisite that can’t be done without by any news agency that is worthy its mojo.

New Ziana however does not have a mojo to defend. It’s a castrated bull living on legend of past conquests and the phallic eminence it had then.

By the way New Ziana has 8 other newspapers that are published under its banner.

Tired and noon-day snooze inducing, they are caricatures of H-Metro.

Serious faced publications with funny little stories about loitering hyenas, jealous hubby with a knife and centre spread political gospels that are bland to the mental palate.

They leave one with the aftertaste of having mentally consumed a pint of ash.

At a time the media has become an addition to a society that has created its own platforms of instant messaging and information sharing networks New Ziana has catch-up play to do.

It has to modernise and seek for a niche opening in which to fit and be a relevant agency existing on the platform of relevance and not hanging on to the coattails of a mere government social need.

However knowing its pathways and beliefs New Ziana is not about to do anything revolutionary.

What it is about to do is retreat into its aged self, tortoise-like, and continue down the path into the future when it feels the air is no longer foreboding. Nehanda Radio