2011: The best of MarkLives // Media stories we covered

Date posted: December 19, 2011

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2011: The best of MarkLives  // Media stories we covered

January, 2011
Media24 Magazines restructures: end of line for well-known publisher brands
The restructuring of Media24 Magazines saw the end of the line for some of South Africa’s best known publisher brands including Atoll Media, 8Ink Media, Creative Living Magazines, Touchline Media and Uppercase Media. At the time CEO John Relihan said his company is no longer a traditional print-only magazine publisher, and its structures and business processes should reflect this.

January, 2011
Mandela ‘death’ hoax exposes weakness of Twitter as news platform Most popular read
The retweet didn’t kill the newsman, after all. As it turns out, the growth of Twitter simply reiterates the essential role of journalists in sifting through and filtering the rumour mill that hangs around the neck of the information economy. And a good thing it is, too, as reports of Madiba’s health swirl around the media and on Twitter.

March 2011
SABC News “unprofessional”, “reckless” and “duplicitous” – BCCSA
The Broadcast Complaints Commission (BCCSA) has found that the SABC was “unprofessional and actually reckless”, as well as “duplicitous” and deceptive, in its broadcast of allegations by controversial businessman Robert Gumede that investigative journalist Sam Sole was ‘bribed’ with a R900 air ticket by John Sterenborg, a former business partner of Gumede, to investigate him.

June 2011
The first daily iPad paper in SA announced
First there was Maverick – the best business magazine ever published in South Africa. Next came The Daily Maverick, Brkic’s ass-kicking daily website that has emerged as the go-to source for analysis of South African politics and media (with a good dose of sport and a bit of culture thrown in). Now comes iMaverick, which Brkic describes as a daily reading menu for people with brains and money, will cover business, politics, sport, lifestyle… well life, promises Brkic.

July 2011
Wine magazine closes down after nearly 20 years in print
Wine magazine, the wine-focused consumer monthly published by RamsayMedia, will be publishing its last edition in September 2011, after nearly 20 years in print. The magazine has only turned an annual profit three times in its existence.

July 2011
NOW scandal: Media-regulation glee club has a new hit show
In the wake of the massive phone-hacking scandal playing out in Britain, its prime minister, David Cameron, has called for the scrapping of media self-regulation and for stronger press regulation by government. Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World, one of the largest circulation English newspapers in the world, was found to have hacked the phones of celebrities, politicians, sport stars, even a murdered school girl, victims of the London subway bombings – the list goes on. In calling for the doing away of media self-regulation, Cameron joins a long line of politicians hoping to legislate away the problems they face staying in and exerting power while dodging and diving their way around a free press.

September 2011
NewsNow misses chance for print/digital integration
The concept, its editors say, is to adapt the way people access and digest news online for print. That means short snippets containing the thrust of a story before you flip to the next item of interest. The problem, for NewsNow at least, is that news stories accessed in this manner online is usually current, whereas in printed form and a week later, skimming over the basic facts seems pointless and a waste of time, especially if your target market is probably well-informed.

September 2011
Knott-Craig Jr on the future of Mxit
MXit was bought out by Alan Knott-Craig Jr’s World of Avatar – at a time when it faces its greatest challenges. He talks frankly about competing with BBM and WhatsApp – and more.

September 2011
i magazine promises to shake up Sunday paper market
City Press launched a high quality magazine to be inserted with the Sunday newspaper. The new magazine, i, will be produced for City Press by New Media and the first issue will appear on Sunday, 2 October 2011. It will be distributed with the paper in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal; other regions will follow later.

October 2011
Finweek relaunches
The recent repositioning of business magazine Finweek has upped the stakes in what many consider a rather stale magazine segment. Not that a lot isn’t happening in the business press, or that it isn’t already highly competitive – take the recent entry of Forbes Africa into the fray, or how the tablet market has opened up access to publications such as Bloomberg Businessweek to South African consumers.

November 2011
What the POI Bill says about the gradual erosion of our democracy Must read
The Protection of Information Bill had just been steamrolled through and rubber-stamped by Parliament – a body tasked with balancing the demands of the executive with the best interests of their constituents – something it has consistently failed to do. In favour – and seeking the favour of – the executive. For me, this is really the debate civil society should be having – how some of the institutions set up to protect the democratic system we value so highly have failed in their task – while others are gradually being diminished in a war of attrition that will see the executive emerge as more powerful than our constitution allows or public will favours.