media update’s Adam Wakefield’s spoke to Business Insider South Africa editor Helena Wasserman about how the publication has found its own niche in the crowded South African media space, and the philosophy that underpins the content they produce.

What about Business Insider’s content makes it different from other publications?

Business Insider is single-mindedly focused on what really interests people about the world of money. We don’t get tangled up in jargon, or try to sound clever.

We give you the information you need to know as quickly and as straightforwardly as possible. We also try to offer information that is of practical use to our readers in order to help them get ahead in their careers and in life.

It’s very important to us that we don’t waste our readers’ time with fussy reporting, and we have a visual style of telling a story.

In everything we do, we are mindful that our readers have limited time available, and we try to focus on the information that they would be most interested in, delivered in the most effective and entertaining way possible.

Great journalism does not necessarily mean well-read journalism. How difficult is it for publications to balance the need for informative news and popular content?

We aim to report the most important business developments in a popular way. We believe anything – particularly news that is important to our readers – can be presented in a way that captures their imagination.

Our motto is: Fast, fair, fearless and fun, and that helps us in writing stories to empower readers.

Business Insider operates in South Africa in partnership with Media24. How big an influence does this partnership have on the content featured in Business Insider?

We are extremely fortunate to benefit from the reach of News24, and the strong and reputable brands that form part of its family. We work closely together with Fin24, who is the leader in breaking financial news, as well as other lifestyle brands – particularly Wheels24.

There is immense domain knowledge in the group, which has been an enormous support to us. It is also extremely important for us to make sure we add value and don’t duplicate existing content in the group.

What is the key to making finance and business news stories? 

Firstly, we only allow our journalists to write a story if they truly feel excited about it. In our experience, a reporter who is enthusiastic about a topic is best placed to explain it to a wider audience.

We are fortunate to have a strong team of visual thinkers, so that has also helped in presenting sometimes complex information in a simple way.

We have six people working on the team, as well as a strong group of freelancers, including Bruce Whitfield and the science writer Sarah Wild.

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