Mmegi [The Reporter] is the leading independent source of breaking news, latest news, current affairs, Politics, Business, Sport, debates, analysis, and entertainment news in Botswana.
Mmegi newspaper, in its former incarnation was born in 1968. It was founded by Patrick Van Rensburg at Swaneng Hill Secondary School in Serowe. The newspaper was one of Van Rensburg's projects at Swaneng and Shashe River School as well as Madiba Secondary School projects. In 1980 Van Rensburg left Botswana for Zimbabwe to continue his Education With Production Project after the country attained its Independence. Mmegi wa Dikgang, as it was known then, stopped operations when Van Rensburg left. A few years later he returned to Botswana to establish the Foundation for Education with Production (FEP) and also resuscitated the newspaper project in 1984
It was then that the new-look Mmegi wa Dikgang relocated from Serowe to Gaborone. It assumed the tabloid size format compared to the A4 size newsletter that it was distributed to various parts of the country. It also expanded its coverage to include both local and international news. Unlike other private newspapers at the time, Mmegi was owned by not-for-profit organization, FEP. Besides the little revenue it received from advertising and copy sales Mmegi at that time relied on donor funding. With the flight of donor funding that occurred towards the end of the 1980s with Botswana&rsquo;s economic growth things changed for the worst for Mmegi as funding dried up.
By 1986 the FEP was no longer able to sustain the Mmegi due to lack of funds. Van Rensburg and Methaetsile Leepile then approached some people in the community to form a trust, which could subsequently take over the ownership of the newspaper.
Mmegi Publishing Trust (MPT) was born and took over the operations of Mmegi. The founding members of the Trust included Michael Dingake, Marx Mophuting, Burton Nguni, Modise Maphanyane and Bojosi Otlhogile.
The Trust model experienced similar problems as those encountered byFEP as it also relied on donor funding to balance its budget. Although the newspaper funded its operations largely from advertising revenue, Mmegi did not flight advertisements from South Africa as part of its anti-apartheid campaign against that country's government. Given the collusive nature of many businesses here in Botswana, especially because many were owned by South Africans, there was a kick back as even local businesses retaliated by not advertising with Mmegi. Against the background of all these challenges, in 1991 the MPT Board of Directors decided to corporatize the paper. In 1992 Dikgang Publishing Company (DPC) was registered. Investors were invited to invest in the new company. MPT retained majority shareholding in the new company. The other shareholders were Botswana Mine Workers Union, CORDE and individual members of MPT.
As a corporate company the board and management never interfere with editorial independence of the editors. The editors are free to publish what they deem fit. In 2003 Mmegi became a daily and introduced the website www.mmegi.bw. It was the first private newspaper to become a daily production, which consolidated its dominance in the market.
In 2004 Mmegi formed a holding company, Mmegi Investment Holdings, which brought together the various Mmegi Companies like Mmegi Publishing House, Dikgang Publishing Company and Bonesa (the distribution arm) under one roof.Responding to the rise of digital media and falling newspaper sales, Mmegi discontinued the daily publications in 2017 and became a weekly again in 2018.