On October 28, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals around the world. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
Muchemwa Silence Mugadzaweta dreams of becoming a digital media guru, and he is wasting no time in building the road that leads to that goal. This self-proclaimed digital enthusiast parlayed that passion into a career as a multimedia journalist and now is the digital and online editor for Alpha Media Holdings — Zimbabwe’s largest independent media house that publishes NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent, Weekly Digest, and The Standard.
Mugadzaweta launched his career more than a decade ago as an intern for Zimpapers but moved into an online editing position just over a year later. He was part of a four-person team that drove the company’s digital transformation and created a stand-alone department.
“I was responsible for Web site content creation and uploading, editing and assigning follow-up stories to reporters, coordinating with marketing for monetisation opportunities, as well as coordinating the training of journalists in digital journalism,” he said.
Zimpapers, which is the biggest media house in Zimbabwe, is home to seven mastheads as well as four radio stations and a TV station, Zimpapers Television Network. Mugadzaweta said his time with the company provided him with valuable experience in television production, radio broadcast journalism, and the production of digital and online content. He also returned to school to earn a post-graduate diploma in media and society studies, as well as a master’s degree in public policy.
Now, in his role with Alpha Media Holdings, he is responsible for shaping the company’s digital transformation. That includes the development and maintenance of the group’s five Web sites, 10 social media platforms, three mobile news channels, and other digital assets. It’s a significant challenge, as it also includes supervising a team of online subeditors, developers, graphic artists, multimedia journalists, and photographers while expanding the current digital portfolio and overseeing multimedia content development.
As an Elevate Scholar, Mugadzaweta is eager to add to his skill sets and is particularly interested in learning more about how to manage a media business and strengthening his abilities in writing, editing, and management. But he has other goals as well as he steps into his future career as a media leader: “I will represent the previously less represented group and will promote inclusivity in the news media industry.”