Malawi, Zimbabwe top newspapers in twinning programme

Malawi is part of an innovative project that matches two newspaper groups in Malawi with two newspaper groups in Zimbabwe for a series of exchanges including newspaper study tours, job shadowing and collaboration on business projects.

According to a report on Biz Community, the Malawi-Zimbabwe Executive Twinning Programme under World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), provides for the exchange of expertise between newspaper executives from four independent newspaper groups in Malawi and Zimbabwe, with the overall objective of strengthening a free and independent press in the region.

Malawi papers

The programme adopts a new approach to twinning: rather than matching newspapers from established newspaper markets with those from emerging markets, it pairs newspapers with similar profiles facing comparable challenges.

The approach aims to increase the likelihood of identifying viable solutions for business challenges.

“It is no secret that collaboration within the newspaper industry is a core driver of success and growth, and no one understands the particular challenges facing the industry better than newspapers operating in a similar market context,” said Larry Kilman, deputy CEO of WAN-IFRA.

“Due to the relative isolation within which project participants operate, the opportunity to access a group of impartial experts from outside their markets, to complement existing exchanges, adds critical support to participants.”

Participating newspaper groups include Malawi’s  Nation Publictaions Limited and Blantyre Newspaper Limited (BNL),  Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe and Alpha Media Holdings (Zimbabwe.

“The twinning of BNL Times of Malawi and Alpha Media of Zimbabwe is a match made in heaven”, said Dr. Tikhala Chibwana, general Mmanager of BNL Times.

“The two companies have so much in common that the opportunity to learn from each other is just huge. The programme harnesses the power of learning from peers who can quickly relate to your situation. With the additional support of the Brain Trust, I feel strongly that our chances for success in implementing our strategic business projects will be greatly enhanced.”

International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and WAN-IFRA to advance media development and press freedom worldwide. The partnership allows WAN-IFRA to broaden and develop its press freedom and media development activities to support free and financially sustainable media worldwide

The project entered a new phase with the launch of the Twinning Programme Brain Trust in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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