IPI is proud to welcome Zambia’s News Diggers, a new multimedia publication focused on investigative journalism, as a full member of its global network for a free media.
News Diggers is headed by editor-in-chief Joseph Mwenda, who previously led a 30-person team in the newsroom of Zambia’s The Post, exposing corruption and electoral malpractice until November, when The Post was ordered liquidated following years of official harassment over its criticism of successive governments in the country
Following The Post’s demise, proprietor Fred M’membe and his wife Mutinta Mazoka-M’membe founded a new publication, The Mast. Mwenda and others, however, forged a separate path with News Diggers, which is independent from The Mast and not affiliated with M’membe.
IPI talked to Mwenda about News Diggers’ beginnings, its position in the Zambian media landscape, and its contribution to the development of an independent and professional media in Zambia.
IPI: What is News Diggers?
Mwenda: News Diggers is Zambia’s first investigative online newspaper publication and multimedia platform. Unlike other existing news websites and blogs currently existing in Zambia, Diggers is a fully registered online newspaper company with established offices, full time employees promising readers factual and professionally gathered news.
IPI: What prompted the creation of News Diggers?
Mwenda: Following the liquidation of The Post, a group of young jobless journalists, some fresh from university, came together and formed News Diggers to fight for space in the narrowing gap for independent media in Zambia. The journalists came up with a new concept which would push the bounds of journalism in the country; a media organisation anchored on investigative journalism.
IPI: How is News Diggers currently contributing to the development of a strong, independent and professional media in Zambia?
Mwenda: News Diggers is contributing to the development of an independent and professional media by emphasising on the need for digital news content which is more interactive, far reaching and attracts immediate response. Diggers is also setting an example to other website owners that the Internet can and should be utilised to disseminate factual information written by journalists who adhere to media ethics instead of rumour-mongering and instigating hate speech and propaganda. It is for this reason that Diggers is a fully registered company ready to take responsibility of any queries that may arise from our reports.
IPI: Why was it important for the News Diggers to become a member of IPI?
Mwenda: We believe in local and international solidarity and we believe that IPI has a dedicated mandate and approach towards the protection of journalists and media freedom.