Media24's Afrikaans print publications reach 1.6 million readers, while 2.6 million readers engage with the titles online. The editors say that they can only count on the sustained support of these readers as long as they can thrill and engage them.
Netwerk24 is the digital home for Media24's weekly, daily and local Afrikaans newspapers, as well as its Afrikaans magazines.
Deputy editor Theresa Olivier says that they are well-positioned to provide a national view of the Afrikaans market and the extent of its diversity of views and composition.
Taking a segment of the Afrikaans market and using the Coloured community as an example, she expanded on the notion of diversity; some people considered themselves Muslim first and Coloured second, while others, termed Coloured by the government, did not see themselves as such.
She said that while there were poorer, less educated people, others had advanced to higher levels of education. The colour of money has changed, she said.
readers, language was not the key factor in the decision to read the title. It was because the publication is rooted in their community and represents their interests and values, says Neil Scott.
Scott said that the community was sometimes stigmatised. While Son
reported on issues such as gangsterism, it also sought to celebrate the community's heroes such as Devon Petersen, the first African professional darts champion and the finalists of Maak My Famous
Bringing a regional perspective was Barnard Beukman, editor at Beeld,
who suggested that the adaptability of the Afrikaans community had not been sufficiently recognised.
He made the point that some of the most robust debates take place in the Afrikaans press and stressed that Beeld
offered a variety of voices; it did not offer the refuge of a Fox News.
Both editorial interaction and research indicated that the Afrikaans community placed emphasis on education, the needs of their children, careers and financial security. Not surprisingly, therefore, they had an impressive stake in the higher income and LSM stratification. He also highlighted the importance of community news to his readers.
This point was endorsed by Gert Coetzee, editor at Volksblad,
who illustrated it in the Free State by outlining the dynamic tension between his publication (news reporter) and The Cheetahs, as well as their coverage of the dispute between the Grey College School Governing Body and the principal.
While the Afrikaans market is diverse, Olivier says that she believes there are some powerful common denominators. These include love of the language and love of this beautiful country and where it can be taken to, if everyone works together.
In the webinar, the Media 24 editors demonstrated their understanding of the value and diversity of Afrikaans market. Their publications offer advertisers engaged readers and the opportunity to partner with pioneering content producers.
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