By KAIKO NAMUSA -
THE full electronic version of the Times of Zambia and the Sunday Times newspapers can now be accessed online, following the launch of the e-times.
The online publications are different from the current website content, which is in summary form, as the latest innovation provides readers access to both editorial and advertorial details, in similar format as the hard copy newspaper.
The e-times, the first of its kind in the newspaper industry in Zambia, was launched in conjunction with MTN Zambia in Lusaka on Tuesday evening at the Radisson Blue Hotel, at a function graced by Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Joseph Katema.
The main features of the e-times are that it can be received digitally after subscription by logging on to www.timesepaper.com and has no geographical limitations.
Dr Katema said the initiative would address the void left in accessing current affairs in Zambia, mainly by nationals living abroad including those serving in embassies and High Commissions.
The e-times, accessed on mobile phones or laptops and other gadgets, also provides the advantage of being received earlier than the physical copy and is packaged with a reader archive. Readers could find past issues for ease of reference.
E-times is also affordable and has flexible payment options, using Visa, Credit, Debit or Master Cards respectively. Other modes of payment include the MTN mobile money payment.
The mobile service provider, which was represented by chief sales and distribution officer Amon Jere, has since partnered with Times to offer payment services.
Dr Katema said: “e-times is a marvel. It will definitely feel the void left in accessing news from home, especially for Zambians and others in the Diaspora. I urge you to sustain it with good content and attractive outlook and only the sky is the limit”.
The Minister was happy that the product is a completely different and unique product because the whole newspaper, articles and advertisements, are rolled out electronically as opposed to synopsis kind of presentation.
Dr Katema said despite a myriad of challenges, it was amazing that the Times has come up with exceptional innovations.
Times Printpak board chairperson Michael Musonda said for the first time in the country’s history, people living in the Diaspora and other distant locations would be able to access the online newspapers in full version and on time.
Mr Musonda said this was a new dawn for the company to rise above challenges by expanding its client base.
He urged advertisers to utilise e-times and grow their businesses by using it as a vehicle to achieve multiplier effects on benefits.
He said e-times was also environmentally friendly and accorded clients to no longer use newspapers which were difficult to store overtime.
He appealed for subvention from Government to address some of the problems the institution was faced with.
Times acting managing director Chishimba Chishimba said the Times of Zambia and Sunday Times were undergoing a process of re-designing to make them more attractive and at the same time the introduction of e-times would help improve performance amidst tight competition in the media industry.
Mr Chishimba said more innovations had been lined-up to change the image of the two newspapers and increase the revenue base.
“We will not sit idle, the industry is highly competitive but through hard work, commitment, we will be able to continue improving and give the market an improved product,” he said.