Zimbabwe promises media reforms, opens door for new independent newspapers and broadcasters

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's information minister says the country will implement wide-ranging media reforms that could bring in independent media outlets that would break the government's hold on the media.

Webster Shamu said Monday that a new licensing authority will open this month and will take applications from new broadcasters and newspapers. Zimbabwe's last independent daily newspaper was shut down in 2003 amid accusations that it criticized the government led by President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe's party controls all the main state newspapers and the sole broadcaster.

Opposition politicians in the country's troubled unity government formed last year have blamed Mugabe for reneging on promises of democratic and media reform.