Why they pulled it down is anyone’s guess right now. SW Radio Africa reported yesterday that the editor of the paper, Stanley Gama, had told them the website had been restored online yesterday after a month of downtime. The reason for the downtime given by the editor is that they are “making further developments and modernising in line with modern websites around the world”.
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We don’t find this reason the bit plausible. You don’t need to put a website offline for a month to upgrade it, especially if you’re just going to load the same old website after the 30 days.
And just to be clear, we don’t doubt that they’re working on a new website. What we doubt is that this is the reason their website was down for a month.
The Daily News is one of the 2 most popular private daily newspapers in Zimbabwe. The other is NewsDay.
Strangely, just two days ago the NewsDay website was put offline after a hacking incident. The website is still down. And yesterday, the H-Metro website too was compromised and put down for several hours.
It’s been a bad week for these media houses and their readers. Our hope is that we all learn from this. There needs to be more deliberate attention given to the security and availability of web properties locally.