There have been many false dawns, but there is renewed hope that the Daily News will be returning to the streets of Zimbabwe, along with other independent titles, after being banned seven years ago.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has hailed the decision by the Zimbabwe Media Commission to grant publishing licences to the Daily News, and a number of other publications.
Commission Chairman Godfrey Majonga announced the licences would be issued immediately, marking the first time in nearly seven years that an independent daily will be allowed to print domestically, local journalists told CPJ.
The CPJ says: "The Daily News, the nation’s most popular paper before it was banned by the government in September 2003, will resume publishing under its one-time editor, Geoffrey Nyarota, a former CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee, according to international news reports."
A new independent daily, NewsDay, was also approved for domestic publication as was The Daily Gazette, to be published by the company that now produces The Financial Gazette, a weekly that has some reported ties to the ruling ZANU-PF; The Mail, a new publication owned by a company linked to the ruling party; and The Worker, a monthly run by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions that now will become a weekly.
“We welcome this decision with open arms and hope this will allow the public access to independent reporting,” said CPJ’s Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes.
Journalists on the Daily News were arrested, forced into exile and the paper's printing press was bombed before the publication was finally shut down in 2003.
- Picture: London protest in 2003 at closure of Daily News (Jon Slattery)