Zimpapers partners NUST

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By Rudo Muchedzi

Zimpapers in Partnership with National University of Science and Technology (NUST) recently held a Media Innovation Challenge in Bulawayo in an effort to come up with a brand repositioning strategy for uMthunywa newspaper.

The partnership which saw Journalism and Media Studies students pitching ideas on how to reposition uMthunywa  which falls under the Zimpapers stable is part of the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives.

Winning teams walked away with cash prizes and shields sponsored by Zimpapers.

Group Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Manager, Ms Beatrice Tonhodzayi said the partnership came at a time when Zimpapers is seeking to engage in mutually beneficial partnerships with media training institutions.  

“We are the biggest and the best when it comes to media business. Just look at where we are now; we are found across all the media platforms namely newspapers, radio, television and digital platforms.

“It only makes sense that we do our part to invest in students studying journalism who may be our future employees at Zimpapers.

“By so doing the media fraternity will not die as we continue supporting new players and young creative minds that are preparing to come into industry.

“Journalists here at Zimpapers passed through these institutions; hence as a company we realised the importance of engaging universities so as to tap into the student’s innovative ideas,” she said.

Ms Tonhodzayi applauded NUST for coming up with the idea of the Media Innovation Challenge adding that it was a welcome development.

“NUST has done well by coming up with such a brilliant initiative. It shows commitment and hard work.

 “This will give students room to become creative in their studies and even after their studies, at the same time giving our organisation an opportunity to take advantage of the rich ideas and talents of journalism students in solving some of our needs as a media organisation.

 “I would like to thank all students who took their time to participate in this competition,” Tonhodzayi added.

Nust Strategic Communications Consultant and Lecturer, Thandolwenkosi Nkomo said the competitions were part of the Media Economics module for the second year students adding that there was need to teach and enhance innovation skills.

“I realised that there was need to impart and enhance innovation skills in my students so that they are able to meet the needs of media organisations in the country.

“Zimpapers, as the leading Media Organisation in the country was an ideal partner on the strength of its reputation and broad base of media products.

“The competition will be held annually and we hope that we shall have an opportunity to work with all the Zimpapers brands.

“The group has provided floating shields to push us through the next few years and we are open to work with different partners to enable collaborative partnerships to enhance learning and development of media practices and industries,” he said.

Nkomo added that the Media Innovation Challenge, is an opportunity for media organisations to take advantage of the skills and knowledge of Journalism and Media Studies students in solving media product research.

“The competition focused on uMthunywa newspaper and the students were tasked to draw up a brand repositioning strategy for the publication.

 

“We believe that we can reinstate the publication as one of the most popular and favoured media products in the Southern Region,’’ he added.

 

Chairperson of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at the National University of Science and Technology, Mr Thabani Mpofu encouraged both  students and industry to work together in order to churn out students that are media  gurus in different fields.

UMthunywa Editor Ms Gugulethu Ncube said that during the challenge the students had presented brilliant strategies that are likely to change the face of the publication going forward.

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