“Journalism is dead! Why would readers pay for something when they can get it for free?”

This is a sentiment we’ve all heard over the past few years, but more so over the past few months. The global pandemic drove publishers into a state of panic, bringing five years worth of problems to every media house within the space of a few weeks.

“During the lockdown period, RNA, Caxton’s distribution of magazines, as well as On the Dot, Media24’s distribution arm, confirmed that no magazines would be distributed during the lockdown [period in South Africa],” says Marina Kruger, media manager at Target Media Directory.

On top of this, ad revenues all but disappeared, with certain publications seeing it decrease by up to 75% in the space of a single week. In many cases, feature inserts have been condensed in publications — or cut completely.

However, despite all this negativity, there is a glimmer of hope for the media industry. Turns out — readers are willing to pay for quality journalism.

Fake news has peaked this year, with stories of far-fetched Coronavirus remedies and ridiculous conspiracy theories about big pharma making the rounds. Amidst this confusing maelstrom of chaos and lies, many readers have recognised the value of subscribing to reputable publishers, ensuring they receive factual and quality news.

Publications like Bloomberg Media, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian have all had a boost in new paying subscriptions since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most exciting for us, though, is that we have received our very first donations to media update, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

Our team spends an inordinate amount of time carefully researching, writing (then re-writing and re-re-writing), editing and publishing the content on our site. We strive to bring our readers top-quality news and information about the PR, media, marketing and social media spheres — all without an advert in sight!

The kind of man-power involved in this process doesn’t come cheap, and we are immensely proud of the fact that we managed to stay up-and-running despite the global drama. But, it wouldn’t be possible without you, our readers.

The fact that we have received our first few donations to the site — to keep us working hard and providing you with top-quality content — is a signal that we are going in the right direction. It’s phenomenal to know that our audience appreciates and supports the work that we do.

Readers who acknowledge that high-quality journalism is worth paying for are like beacons of hope for the industry. Although ad revenue is sparse and hard to come by, discerning readers who are uninterested in sifting through fake news (and downright badly-written content) will keep the media afloat.

This momentous occasion serves as a poignant marker in the history of media update. We look forward to continuing to bring you first-class content — and we humbly thank those readers who have donated to our cause.


Do you think that quality journalism is worth paying for? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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The past few months have seen publishers across the board have to adjust their strategies in order to stay afloat. But, what does COVID-19 mean for the media?