SA media faces 'grim future' as it battles falling revenues – Reuters study

schumi

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#1
Newsrooms are going to have rely on subscription and membership models to ensure their sustainability in the face of declining revenues across various mediums, a study by the Reuters Institute found.

The recently released Reuters Institute Digital News Report for 2019 unpacks SA's media landscape. It shows that, while consumption of news in print form is declining, consumers are increasingly relying on digital platforms to get the news.

The research was conducted using a questionnaire completed by a sample of the English-speaking population in South Africa. It was completed between January and February 2019.

"Despite relatively high trust levels in the news overall, revenue for news media has been on a downward path for several years, with a 12% drop in ad spend last year for television, 5.6% for radio, and 7.7% for print," the report states.

With newspaper circulation dying, broadcast revenue dropping and journalism resources eroding, news is going to have to increasingly rely on subscription and membership models to sustain volume and quality."

The research shows that, of those sampled, 16% of respondents claimed to pay for online news. There has also been a "surge of goodwill" through reader donations to independent publications like Daily Maverick and amaBhungane to support their investigative reporting.

"But this is an uncertain form of income, and with no sustainable revenue model available currently, South African media houses are facing a grim future," the report warned.
More at : https://www.fin24.com/Companies/ICT...ttles-falling-revenues-reuters-study-20190616
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
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25,898
#2
EWN has spelling and grammatical errors galore.

Also, there is hardly any real investigative journalism in South Africa.

Go look at the New York Times, for example. Some articles are just so good.
 

Sputnik100

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#8
It's a shame since journalism of the Daily Maverick standard has been one of the few obstacles standing in the way of SA's complete demise.
Just out of curiosity: Does anyone singing the praise of Daily Maverick donate/subscribe to their "insider" club? @Johnatan56 , @Gordon_R ? They are doing a good job, yes, at a massive loss. They are pioneering the "begging" model in South Africa like the Guardian in the UK. It requires big bucks to produce quality, original content.
The recipe to do that is just not there.
Just check out the financial statements of Naspers and look at the dismal and tragic figures for the once profitable Media24. Although they have -- by far -- the biggest news site in the country (News24), they cannot turn it into a tiny profit.
Much of the Daily Maverick content you (rightly) praise, comes from amaBhungane. A group of journalists who formed a not-for-profit company to produce news and give it away for free to sites such as Daily Maverick and News24. They are 100% donor funded. It is declared on their website.
I'm just not sure whether South Africans are really prepared to pay for quality news? What do you think?
 

3WA

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#9
Just out of curiosity: Does anyone singing the praise of Daily Maverick donate/subscribe to their "insider" club?
All great points.

I do subscribe to Daily Maverick, but I doubt they’re anywhere close to profitable. Unless they have sustained donor funding.
 

maumau

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#11
Just out of curiosity: Does anyone singing the praise of Daily Maverick donate/subscribe to their "insider" club? @Johnatan56 , @Gordon_R ? They are doing a good job, yes, at a massive loss. They are pioneering the "begging" model in South Africa like the Guardian in the UK. It requires big bucks to produce quality, original content.
The recipe to do that is just not there.
Just check out the financial statements of Naspers and look at the dismal and tragic figures for the once profitable Media24. Although they have -- by far -- the biggest news site in the country (News24), they cannot turn it into a tiny profit.
Much of the Daily Maverick content you (rightly) praise, comes from amaBhungane. A group of journalists who formed a not-for-profit company to produce news and give it away for free to sites such as Daily Maverick and News24. They are 100% donor funded. It is declared on their website.
I'm just not sure whether South Africans are really prepared to pay for quality news? What do you think?
No, not prepared to pay.
 

supersunbird

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#12
Just check out the financial statements of Naspers and look at the dismal and tragic figures for the once profitable Media24. Although they have -- by far -- the biggest news site in the country (News24), they cannot turn it into a tiny profit.
If their ad usage were not so over the top and garish, we wouldn't need to adblock them.
 

koeks525

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4,305
#13
Well, this does not come as a surprise. Traditional means of consuming news are falling slowly (newspaper, TV, radio). Its more convenient to read about something online (whilst procrastinating at work, or school).

Also, South African journalism is much sensationalized, click-baity and not thoroughly investigated. The source for many stories is here-say, or what social media is saying (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). About 2 days ago I saw an eNCA clip on YouTube relating to ANC MP's resigning. What shocked me the most was how biased the news anchor and political analyst were on the matter... there was absolutely NO objectivity in the clip... no value was presented in the clip. You can provide good commentary without showing bias or putting your personal feelings into it. Jessie Duarte had a point when she went off on the one journalist... about their shoddy reporting style.
 

Sputnik100

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45
#16
If their ad usage were not so over the top and garish, we wouldn't need to adblock them.
If I'm not mistaken, you get an ad-free experience if you subscribe.
But still, I'm not subscribed.
I'm just concerned that we bemoan the standard of journalism, but at the same time demand to get it for free.
I guess we get what we pay for?
 

GhostSixFour

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#17
Well, it seems that whenever a journalist has an exciting story, they rather release a book about it. Suppose it makes sense for them, but it makes for crappy newspapers.
 

Gordon_R

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#18
Well, it seems that whenever a journalist has an exciting story, they rather release a book about it. Suppose it makes sense for them, but it makes for crappy newspapers.
What's missing is called long-form journalism, with articles of 20-30 pages, but nobody pays for that anymore. Most of these complex stories need a whole book to explain.

Most news reports are dribs-and-drabs of the full story. In that respect some of the threads on MyBB are actually quite useful as sources of information, since they collate a number of different articles on the same theme over time.
 

GhostSixFour

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#20
What's missing is called long-form journalism, with articles of 20-30 pages, but nobody pays for that anymore. Most of these complex stories need a whole book to explain.

Most news reports are dribs-and-drabs of the full story. In that respect some of the threads on MyBB are actually quite useful as sources of information, since they collate a number of different articles on the same theme over time.
Which I think is why most of us still browse the news section. That, and it becomes an interesting sounding board that helps filter some fake stories.
 
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