Media24 will now move its trusted Afrikaans news brands into the digital fast lane while at the same time ensuring the longevity of its print titles, says Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman.

From Sunday, 1 May most content producers on its daily newspaper titles Beeld, Die Burger and Volksblad will work for Netwerk24 to create a round-the-clock digital news flow. Title editors and core print teams will remain in place to continue producing world-class daily newspapers.

“The launch of a single Afrikaans news team supports our multi-platform publishing strategy and future in digital and data-driven journalism,” says Weideman. “Netwerk24 has shown tremendous growth in less than two years. Now is the time to speed things up. This move will further strengthen Netwerk24 as our most important Afrikaans news asset for the future, while at the same time ensuring the viability of our newspapers.”

Beeld, Die Burger and Volksblad will continue to serve their loyal print readers and advertisers, with titles editors Barnard Beukman (Beeld), Willem Jordaan (Die Burger) and Gert Coetzee (Volksblad) leading core teams of editors and skilled production staff to produce quality newspapers.

The company’s Sunday newspaper Rapport will not form part of the new set-up but will continue to “take over” Netwerk24 on weekends.

The future of our Afrikaans news brands is in safe and steady hands with Netwerk24’s editor-in-chief Jo van Eeden leading a team of respected title and section editors, says Weideman. “They are all excited about the plan and totally dedicated to serving our vast Afrikaans audiences wherever they are. I’m incredibly proud to lead this wonderful team as we embark on the next phase of our transition as a world-class media company.”

Van Eeden, who stepped into her role at Netwerk24 on Friday, 1 April after more than 20 years at newspapers, most recently as editor-in-chief of Media24’s Afrikaans dailies, says the company has been at the forefront of digital media for a long time. “And today, at a time when digital innovation is a game-changer, we absolutely need to deliver excellent journalism fast, and across multiple platforms. As the custodians of the strongest and most established Afrikaans media brands we have over 100 years’ experience in providing excellent editorial content to the Afrikaans market. It is our responsibility to continuously innovate to meet the needs of our consumers.”

Since 2014 Netwerk24 has established itself as the home of quality journalism in Afrikaans. It is already the fifth largest news platform in the country. Van Eeden says phase one in Netwerk24’s life cycle was to offer quality digital content curated from Media24’s mainstream Afrikaans titles and phase two entailed appointing an editor and a news team to create original content, breaking news and analysis. Now in phase three the company will position Netwerk24 as the premium destination for Afrikaans news with a flow of excellent content to its print titles.

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