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Cablegate: "Daily News" Commissions New Printing Press

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 002324

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: "DAILY NEWS" COMMISSIONS NEW PRINTING PRESS


1. Twenty months after its presses were destroyed by
expertly placed, sophisticated explosive devices (no
arrests were ever made) the independent "Daily News"
inaugurated new presses. In an October 22 ceremony
attended by Zimbabwean media, human rights, law and
business leaders, "Daily News" senior management
thanked its supporters and spoke of the challenges the
paper has overcome and still faces. The planned
highlight of the evening, pushing the button to start
printing the next day's edition, did not take place
because a strike by "Daily News" workers delayed the
paper's production.

2. The perseverance of "Daily News" management and
staff after the bombing is a remarkable story.
Printing, collating (often by hand) and distributing
the paper since the January 28, 2001 destruction of
the original presses required daily creativity and
chutzpah. Remarkably, the "Daily News" never missed a
day, although late delivery and poor print quality
were chronic problems. The new press, surrounded by
impressive looking security walls, lights and cameras,
is capable of quick and high-quality production. One
of the challenges for the "Daily News" now is to find
additional business for the press so that it will
produce revenue during the 20 hours per day when it is
not printing the newspaper.

3. The "Daily News" also faces a continuing problem
with distribution. Ruling party supporters, including
the so-called "war vets," have banned the paper in
most small towns and extensive parts of rural
Zimbabwe. Copies of the newspaper are seized and
burned in places like Rusape, Mutoko and Murewa. The
"Daily News" aims to be a national newspaper, and has
the editorial and production capacity to do so, but
only if Zimbabwe's rulers relax their prohibition on
the independent media outside of the country's main
cities and larger towns.

SULLIVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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