Vrye Weekblad back as digital paper
Twenty-five years ago, independent Afrikaans-language weekly newspaper, Vrye Weekblad, closed its doors. Now Vrye Weekblad is relaunching as a premium weekly digital edition with Max du Preez and a core editorial team, backed by Tiso Blackstar Group.
The publishers promises that the new paper will be built, as it was before, on campaigning, quality journalism. It will be unapologetically progressive, cheeky and disrespectful to those who believe they are important; it will target all those who speak Afrikaans or understand it; yet it will not be a publication only for the Afrikaans community, says Du Preez, but one for all South Africans, in Afrikaans. It will speak to all those who want to be challenged by unique insights into the SA story.
Vryeweekblad.com will be run by three co-editors: Du Preez; former Vrye Weekblad deputy editor, Jacques Pauw, now famous for his investigative book, The President’s Keepers; and Anneliese Burgess, the award-winning veteran investigative journalist and author of the recently published book, Heist!, which lifted the lid on SA’s epidemic of cash-in-transit heists.
Andrew Gill, Tiso Blackstar Group media MD describes the Vrye Weekblad project as an exciting venture into a new market for the group, which historically has competed only in the English-language sector: “This investment is also in line with our continued commitment to quality journalism, which we regard as key to our future. We are proud to be associated with the journalistic talent that comes with the Vrye Weekblad brand and we are certain their work and reporting will also enrich our existing titles.
“Our research shows there is a significant market for a product like Vrye Weekblad and we are confident it will find a loyal audience and commercial success,” he says.
Debut in April
The first edition of Vrye Weekblad is expected to debut in early April. Each will be published online in full on a Friday morning, and readers will be able to sign up for a monthly subscription. The first six weeks of the publication will be free to allow readers to sample the new offering.
Tiso Blackstar Group publishes Sunday Times, Business Day, Financial Mail, the Sowetan and other print and digital brands.
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