The cost of reporting Zimbabwe

Fifty Billion Dollars, originally uploaded by ZeroOne.

The Zimbabwe government has announced new restrictive measures for media workers working with foreign news organisations. It will cost up to US$4 000 to practice journalism in Zimbabwe for one year, according to a report in The Zimbabwe Times. Here is a list of the new fees announced by the Media and Information Commission, now renamed the Zimbabwe Media Commission,

* Zimbabwean journalists must pay Z$1 million and Z$3 million for an application and one-year accreditation, respectively.
* Local free-lance journalists must pay Z$1, 5 million for one-year accreditation.
* Local journalists working for foreign media organizations must pay US$1 000 and US$3 000 for an application and one-year accreditation, respectively.
* Foreign journalists intending to work temporarily in Zimbabwe are required to pay US$500 and US$1 000 for application and accreditation, respectively.
* Local media owners must pay an application fee of Z$5 billion and an accreditation fee of Z$20 billion.
* Foreign media houses must pay US$10 000 for the application and US$20 000 for accreditation, payable only in foreign currency. There is also a complimentary permit administration fee pegged at US$2 000.
For local journalists working for local media, the penalty for late renewal of accreditation will be Z$100 000 per day while the penalty for late renewal for registration has been pegged at Z$500 000 per day. link

A number of journalists and foreign news outlets, like the BBC, are barred from reporting from Zimbabwe and many reporters go in as tourists. All of which may mean the queue for accreditation the shiny new Zimbabwe Media Commission might be a short one.