The newly launched Zambian online newspaper The Watchdog is expected to change the media terrain in the country according to the paper’s editor.
“This would be possible ‘because this is the first, and maybe only one for sometime to come, Zambian news website that will be updated as news happens,” said the publication’s editor Lloyd Himaambo.
“Most Zambian news media are updated once a day and usually containing news of the previous day. We update immediately we get the news. We believe this is the status of the technology,” said Himaambo in an interview with Biz Community.
He said many Zambians living outside the country have difficulties finding out in good time what is happening in Zambia due to the ‘static’ media.
“They depend on international media, which is only interested in big tragedies leaving out news that affects Zambians daily,” he said.
He cited the death of President Mwanawasa which was mongered as a mere rumour in and outside Zambia.
Himaambo said Zambians leaving in the diaspora had difficulties finding out what was really going on. And when he finally died, the international media largely ignored the story.”We want to bridge this gap and make sure there is a reliable news source about Zambia,” he said. The editor for this round-the-clock news coverage provider bemoaned that there are some websites that write news about Zambia in unprofessional manner and sometimes “… just copy news from the existing Zambian Media. In fact some hide their identity”.
The Watchdog newspaper which is published by Zambian Watchdog Media is a member of the Zambia Media Ethics Council of Zambia (MECOZ) registered under the laws of Zambia, operating a traditional weekly newspaper and this online version.
Himaambo says The Watchdog team is composed of professional journalists with proven records of accomplishment expected to churn out top-quality news that will attract all and sundry.
“I can’t project the number of visitors to the website but we intend to be the most visited website in Zambia in a short time,” he said.
He said they are currently working on partnerships with community radio stations based outside Lusaka so that they can be re-broadcasting our news on their radio.
“This is because as you know Zambia’s political and business news is concentrated in Lusaka and therefore community media have no access to news sources but people in those areas want to know what government is doing,” he said.
Himaambo said this is the only way they will be able to change the media terrain Zambia.
“For now, we are only updating daily occurrences in the country but we will soon embark on serious investigative journalism,” he said.