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End of Print Era: Iconic South African Newspapers Shut Down

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Media24, a leading South African media house, is reported to have announced the closing of its numerous newspapers, including City Press, Rapport, Beeld, and the Daily Sun. This choice is a clear indication of the company’s strategy change toward a digital-first approach in response to changing trends in media consumption.

MoneyWeb reports claim that the shutdown, scheduled for October, signifies a shift in the media environment in South Africa. It comes after a time when print media declined and traditional journals encountered escalating financial challenges.

Media24’s strategy includes not only shutting down these newspapers but also giving them distinct online identities and integrating their content into News24 and Netwerk24, established platforms. This project aims to sustain readership while adapting to the increasing trend of digital news consumption.

Economic Pressures and Strategic Shifts

A shift in readership toward digital media, declining advertising revenues, and rising distribution expenses are all contributing factors to the closures. In the face of this digital shift, Media24’s CEO, Ishmet Davidson, highlights the company’s dedication to maintaining long-term viability and sustainability “Media24 continuously reviews its operations to protect viability and long-term sustainability within the context of its transition to an increasingly digital media landscape. We will also continue to consult with staff about any potential and subsequent actions and remain committed to following due process. We do not comment on rumors or speculation, nor on the details of any internal processes.”

Staff consultations are in progress to discuss the implications and required steps after the changeover.

Competition from international media giants is a problem as they restructure their business to transition. But with the rapid expansion of online news sources, Media24 hopes to maintain its leading position in South African journalism.

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