B-Metro

History

B- Metro is a tabloid newspaper that has been in circulation since December 2010. It started as a daily newspaper and was later converted to a weekly. The thrust of the paper is sensational news that offer a light read with no political news whatsoever. The first part of the publication carries local news, ranging from sex scandals by local celebrities and the general people who make extra-ordinary news, crime stories from the police and courts, a feature article and a leader on the editorial page and a section dedicated to purely entertainment stories of arts and culture. The other pages carry regional and international showbiz, women’s and relationships issues, local, regional and international sport. It is intensely local and people focused with a major focus on Bulawayo, hence B-Metro. It is a product of Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980)Ltd.

 

As the media is the mouthpiece through which society has a voice and makes its concerns known, B-Metro has managed to satisfy this longing in the readers when it comes to social news. The issues covered include

  • Rape and child abuse
  • Incest
  • Spousal abuse
  • Murder
  • Sport, local and foreign
  • Entertainment, local and foreign
  • General crime
  • Misdemeanours in churches and other places of interest

The paper was initially intended to capture the mass market of the lower end of the market of young adults, housewives and the working class. However, a keen uptake from the so-called elite in society has been noted with many even among executives following the publication’s content and adjusting their behaviour to avoid falling prey to the lens of B-Metro photographers.

The paper has been used in the Bulawayo and surrounding areas as a form of problem solving as people call us to expose ills that are happening in their communities, be it in schools, universities, churches and workplaces. By exposing social ills, we build a better Zimbabwe. The paper also highlights milestones by Zimbabweans, giving a bright side of news as well in various spheres of life.

We take pride in playing this role guided by the following values:

-The protection and preservation of the family unit through highlighting threats to the institution, such as violence, infidelity and divorce, among others.

-Celebration and protection of the disabled, children, the vulnerable through lobbying for protection of their rights.

-Shining the light on general moral decay, and the role of globalisation/ICTs in the growth and perpetuation of such, e.g corruption in all its forms, violence, human trafficking.

-Promotion of art, sport as a culture and source of livelihood and vehicle to inspire peace and cohesion.

-Connecting the past, present and future through unpacking our heritage, celebrating diversity while also challenging the status quo in some instances and allowing some form of public sphere to debate issues.

The weekly tabloid has grown in circulation. It has grown a new readership and its own niche of fast-paced reportage. The fact that the overall circulation of previously existing products has received a little bump in their figures suggests that there are several new people who have grown into the reading culture, suggesting that a new reading constituency has been established by B-Metro. Other new players have come into the newspaper industry, and left within a year, but B-Metro is still competing with the rest and according to the Zimbabwe All Media Products  Survey for the first half of 2021, the publication was the second most read weekly in the country after the Sunday Mail.

The publication has, however, since April 2020 been an online publication, with a free e-paper that has managed to keep readers hooked. Its area of influence has grown beyond Bulawayo due to the wider reach of the website and e-paper distribution. The name B-Metro is now a household name. The ZRP have been able to make follow ups to some of our articles to crack syndicates of crime, which gives B-Metro a plus in helping mould the community, with even the South African police having received assistance in the case of Elliot Moyo, the man that allegedly died and resurrected in South Africa only to be unmasked by B-Metro when he had turned fugitive and died on the run in Lupane.

The publication has also exposed the vuzu parties menace, sex and drug abuse at such places leading to successful raids by police. People who were healed of diseases like cancer have also used the paper as a medium to give hope to those who are suffering from similar ailments and those living with HIV have also given testimonies of their long life living positively and such coverage has been extended to Covid-19, to give the public both information and hope while lobbying for vaccination.

The tabloid was among the pioneers of the electronic paper within the Zimpapers Group  with its last printed issue having been on March 27 2020, at the onset of the Corona Virus as part of saving imported newsprint whose continued supply was not guaranteed due to global lockdowns. The paper has continued to innovate and improved on its e-paper distribution leading to the growth that has seen it become the second most read weekly in Zimbabwe by the first half of 2021.

Categorising B-Metro as a weekly is largely on the basis of the e-paper that is published every Friday but in terms of news, the website is updated daily, meaning the publication now operates like a daily, becoming a weekly with a daily presence!

Stories of cheating, church scandals and nudes leaks have seen B-Metro being the object of attention as it interrogates these issues, in the process making certain sections uncomfortable.

 This has given the publication a moral pedestal on which to anchor its reportage credibly as sources have come to associate certain stories with B-Metro, which has gained notoriety among those that seek to conceal their misdemeanours, which are exposed in text and pictures, and lately, in video.