Key editorial and business strategies: a case study of six independent community newspapers

Milne, Claire and Rau, Asta and Du Toit, Peter and Mdlongwa, Francis (2006) Key editorial and business strategies: a case study of six independent community newspapers. Project Report. Sol Plaatjie Institute for Media Leadership, Grahamstown.

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Abstract

[From the introduction] The Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership (SPI) conducted this study with the goal of assisting small independent newspapers by exploring and publicising the many challenges that they face in their efforts to become sustainable enterprises. The intent is to reveal key business and editorial strategies successful publications have adopted to assist them in overcoming these challenges. To this end, the SPI conducted in-depth case studies of six successful South African newspapers serving their local communities. Newspapers were selected from a pool of twenty newspapers, which were nominated as successful ventures by the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the Association of Independent Publishers of South Africa (AIP). All twenty newspapers were sent questionnaires. These collected information on each newspaper’s background, money matters, the composition of staff, and the manager’s perception of the opportunities and difficulties facing the small independent community newspapers. Based on the researchers’ interpretations of responses in the questionnaires, the SPI selected six newspapers for the case study phase of the research. The selected newspapers are: KZN Community Newspaper, Southern and Soweto Globe, North Coast Courier, Eastern Free State Issue, Ikhwezi News and Limpopo Mirror. The SPI’s researcher spent a minimum of a week at each newspaper using interviews to gain an in-depth understanding of the information given in the questionnaires. Interviews were conducted with management, staff members, advertisers and readers. The issues covered in management and staff interviews ranged from those relating to business and editorial strategies to probing how people experience the workplace, their local media contexts and the wider media environment. Advertisers and readers were asked how they perceive the performance of the different publications. The value of these case studies is that they provide the reader with an overview of the challenges facing small independent community newspapers and the range of best practices and strategies they use to succeed. By sharing and disseminating this information the SPI hopes to contribute to the sustainability of small independent community newspapers.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords:business strategies; editorial strategies; case study; Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership; SPI; small independent community newspapers; media; sustainable enterprises; sustainability; challenges; opportunities; difficulties; performance; local communities; Media Development and Diversity Agency; MDDA; Association of Independent Publishers of South Africa; AIP; questionnaires; KZN Community Newspaper; Southern and Soweto Globe; North Coast Courier; Eastern Free State Issue; Ikhwezi News; Limpopo Mirror
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership
Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Journalism and Media Studies
ID Code:379
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:12 Oct 2006
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
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