"The recent announcement of News24's paywall introduction in order to sustain the accuracy and independence of their news has highlighted the truth about the importance and the cost of news," says the team at SPARK media. "News gathering and dissemination is an expensive business."

SPARK Media says that its free subscription model supports the delivery of relevant and trustworthy locally relevant news to many suburbs and townships across the country.

"Looking at the combined circulation of local newspapers, they reach at least five million South African homes every week. Local newspaper circulations have been going against the trend of other declining print media types for two decades," says Olav Westphal, sales director at SPARK Media.

SPARK Media says that it continues to be optimistic about the relevance of the local newspapers to both consumers and advertisers. "Readers refer to their local papers for the localised content and advertising on a weekly basis," the team adds. 

"The advertiser's printed inserts receive an amazing depth of readership and attention, which has been supported through our ROOTS research and international Lumen eye-tracking studies," says Westphal.

"In 2020, local papers are more than capable of delivering what advertisers need: a large captive audience, receiving free content and paying high volumes of attention to the advertising associated with it," Westphal concludes.

For more information, visit www.sparkmedia.co.za. You can also follow SPARK Media on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.