“There is nothing we can speak better than journalism, and we do speak it fluently. Although our voice is new, it is full of hope, determination and purpose. We are sure that you will appreciate it and we will do our best to give you reason for supporting us.

We are also not naïve to the fact that, for whatever reason, you may choose to dislike our voice, and it’s within your rights to ignore it. You can choose not to hear us, but we ask that you protect our constitutional right to speak.

We want to be part of the political, economic and social life cycle of this country because we cherish it so dearly. We are eager to amplify the voice of those who endeavour to protect our democracy as much as we do, be they from the ruling party or the opposition.

The team of dedicated young journalists employed at News Diggers! has been in-house trained to practice ethical journalism; free of malice, propaganda or plagiarism. We shall, therefore, not publish hate speech; and for the same reason, we will stay away from involving ourselves in any political agenda or sponsorship.

We have our ears to the ground, but the process of gathering news at Diggers! is unique and thorough. We are not excited to feed the public with unverified facts. Therefore, although in some cases you will first hear of breaking news elsewhere, we promise that when you see it on our platform, then it is true. This is because at News Diggers! we practice evidence-based journalism. We are keen to present fair, balanced, objective reports at first instance.”

It has been a year since we were licensed as a newspaper publication and made the commitment above, yet it feels like just a few months ago. As we came on to the scene, we hustled to find our own unique identity; a unique way of reporting news that could isolate us from the rest.

With only a small team on board, we embarked on this ambitious project of gathering news and disseminating it to the masses for free! It was our intention to reach as many people as we could and gain their trust as much as possible. But it was not a flawless road.

Along the way, we made mistakes and some bad decisions, but we opened ourselves to criticism and it is that criticism from our readers that has brought us this far. On the other hand, we did not hesitate to throw our criticism at those whom we are obliged to keep in check.

In fact, it will be folly for us not to acknowledge the tolerance shown to our organisation by those who hold political power. We therefore wish to thank President Edgar Lungu, his advisors, ministers, members of parliament and the PF secretariat for (so far) accepting our criticism.

We also wish to extend our gratitude to all opposition political parties that use our platform to air their views. The value you placed on us has inspired us to move a step forward.

Civil Society Organisations, corporate institutions and individuals, too numerous to mention, have given us various forms of support with one strong caution “stay balanced and objective”. That is the support and encouragement that kept us going.

Dear readers, today we announce our decision to take our publication to print. Starting Monday December 18, 2017, News Diggers! will be sold on the streets at K10 on all working days (Monday to Friday).

We would like to take our commitment to stand out as the most trusted source of news to the street. Our digital platforms shall remain intact, as some of the facts published in our newspaper will be verified online.

We have practically worked as ‘jobless’ volunteers for the past year, and we now seek employment from you, the Zambian people who find value in our work. Every copy you buy and every advert you place in our newspaper will go a long way in sustaining our survival and making our platform stronger. With a stronger platform comes a stronger voice for the citizens.

In this final week before our first print edition on December 18, we will abstain from publishing the ePaper in order to allow us to adjust to the new working timetable, as well as to wind up investigations into some of the interesting stories that we intend to feature in our debut print edition.

To the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Madam Kampamba Mulenga, we are sorry to disappoint you because, by and large, we are disobeying you by ‘switching’ from Digital to Analogue!