Covid-19: Zimbabwe media suffers more casualties

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  • Journalists axed despite taking home low salaries

SUPA Mandiwanzira-owned Business Times on Friday retrenched senior staff, with the company said to be facing severe economic strain.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s media has been hard-hit by the severe economic fallout wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The shift to online consumption of news has also affected viability and has also affected advertising revenue with newsprint production being drastically cut.

Zim Morning Post also understands that the Daily News on Friday laid off three staff members with the employees being told the company could no longer afford their services.

The employees were earning a monthly-salary of less than ZWL$3,000 (US$50).

Only recently state-owned media group Zimpapers laid off scores of its employees including stringers who were earning ZWL$15 per story published.

In a communique seen by this publication addressed to affected employees, contracts for sit-in correspondents and those on fixed monthly retainers were terminated forthwith.

The management cited the detrimental effects caused by the deadly pandemic on the company’s cash inflow.

The media giant incorporates radio stations Star FM ,Nyaminyami and Capitalk.

It also house newspaper titles that include The Herald, Sunday Mail, Chronicle, Sunday News, Manica Post, Kwayedza, H-Metro and online content creation channel ZTN.

Inside sources say the development has affected several workers across subsidiaries although Zim Morning Post could not ascertain the actual number of casualties.

It’s just as good as there are no salaries,” said one prominent journalist who declined to be named fearing reprisal.

“They have been wiped by inflation and are not keen on increasing that’s why they are comfortable with people working at home. Take home for journos now between ZWL$2000 (US$33) and ZWL$2500 (US$41).”

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