The 5 letters, dash and 2 numbers that pushed print media over the edge

  • 17 Julie 2020
  • 1064
  • news

The devastating effect of the lockdown on the media industry is evident in smaller print-runs, distribution challenges, salary cuts of up to 45%, estimated jobs lost in the entire value chain amounting to 700 people, media houses announcing closures and reduction in advertising income which vary between an estimated 40% to 100%. A recent survey amongst 276 freelancers showed that they also weren’t spared with results indicating that 60% lost up to 70% of their income.

Economists have predicted that the economy will shrink by at least 6% and 16% in the worst-case scenario, which could be the biggest economic contraction in South Africa’s history. The fact of the matter is that online advertising is not bridging the gap for the loss in print advertising revenue and subscriptions yet and everyone is scrambling for new ways of sustaining themselves.

Since the outbreak, the demand for accurate news from credible sources, online and in broadcasting, increased significantly. According to the report released by the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) on 1 June, news websites experienced a 72% increase and 44% growth in unique browsers during March 2020. “Many news websites saw double-digit growth in their audience numbers, with News24, Business Insider, The Citizen, Fin24, SABC and EWN growing their traffic by more than 50% in March.”

The resulting impact on the industry at large is that everyone is open to new solutions that are digitally-led, a shift in how, when and where we consume media. This change brought about the perfect opportunity to stop and realign and evaluate what we see as important and how we will, going forward, focus on adding value for our readers and customers as a stakeholder group.

It is often said ‘do not waste a good crisis’, hence we are seizing the opportunity to adapt to the ever-changing environment, be first movers in our industry, work smarter, faster and remain relevant to our faithful readers.

The Senwes Scenario will, for the next couple of editions, be available in a digital format and distributed by means of email and WhatsApp. The magazine will also be published on our digital platforms.

For our advertisers, this change is also the bearer of good news as our magazine’s advertising rates are reduced by more than 50% to counter the cancelled print-run. These changes, therefore, aim to accommodate budget cuts and ensure that our readers can stay up to date with your latest product and service offerings.

There is also exciting news on the horizon… a new format that promises a better user experience, altered news consumption methods, in-time news articles and conveniently selectable topics. We will keep you posted.