By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) is set to establish a 24 hour online news channel in what could be government response to stiff competition from online news outlets now offering real time coverage of Zimbabwean events.
Briefing the media on what emerged from Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Information and Publicity Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the setting up of a ZBC news channel was among some projects that were approved for implementation within the current government’s 100 day plan.
“Under the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, following are the projects which have been approved for implementation in the hundred days; installation of radio transmitters in Maphisa, installation of radio transmitters in Kanyemba, and then construction and commissioning of outdoor public viewing screen at Mashumbi pools in Mbire district.
“The establishment of a ZBC Zim24 online news channel,” Mutsvangwa said, adding that cabinet has also approved the content production of broadcasting programmes.
Recently, government pledged to open up the airwaves inside three months with ZBC set to run a total six television channels.
The establishment of a 24 hour online news channel by ZBC would likely be received with scorn and skepticism by many who have seen the broadcaster struggle to run its sole television station with much of its reportage biased towards both government and the ruling Zanu PF party.
ZBC is also struggling to maintain a competitive website in terms of both outlook and content.
At one press briefing by President Emmerson Mnangagwa few months ago, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba harangued ZBC staff for failing to live stream the President’s address when media channels such as NewZimbabwe.com were up to the minute in terms of covering the event.