Malawian and Zimbabwean newspapers for a free and independent press in Southern Africa
With the launch of the Twinning Programme Brain Trust in South Africa, a new project of news-cooperation enters its next phase. The Malawi-Zimbabwe Executive Twinning Programme is a project which aims at connecting two Malawian with two Zimbabwean newspaper groups. The cooperational work tries to achieve the strengthening of a free and independent press in the region of Southern Africa.
Under the overall control of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) the four newspaper groups hope to learn from each other’s press work and to come up with a productive exchange of expertise. Besides that the participating groups aim to widen their readership and reach an audience outside their domestic markets.
According to BIZcommunity.com, Larry Kilman, deputy CEO of WAN-IFRA said:
It is no secret that collaboration within the newspaper industry is a core driver of success and growth, and no one understands the particular challenges facing the industry better than newspapers operating in a similar market context.”
The participating independent newspaper groups are namely Malawi’s Nation Publictaions Limited and Blantyre Newspaper Limited (BNL), Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe and Alpha Media Holdings Zimbabwe.
The twinning programme followed an initiative of the Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida) and WAN-IFRA to improve media development and press freedom worldwide. With the Executive Twinning Programme observers believe it’s possible to force the highly needed improvement and advance of a free and independent press in the region of Southern Africa.