by MarkLives (@marklives) Matthew Buckland — digital media entrepreneur, journalist and adman — has died. Buckland ran Burn Media, the publishers of,,, and He was also the founder of agency, Creative Spark, which he sold to M&C Saatchi in 2015. For the past year, he had been an entrepreneur in residence for the Media Development Investment Fund.

A graduate of Rhodes University, in the late 1990s he served as a web developer and producer at the BBC in London, and also enjoyed a stint at He was head of the Mail & Guardian’s online division before he joined News24. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.


The team at MarkLives wishes to extend our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Matthew Buckland, one of the early South African journalists to embrace the world of digital news and media. There is little doubt he was a pioneer in the field of digital media and that he played an important role in the understanding and development of digital news in South Africa. We will miss his brilliant smile and mischievous sense of humour.

— Herman & Simone.


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One reply on “RIP #MatthewBuckland — industry reaction and tributes”

  1. What desperately sad news to receive today of Matt’s passing away. Even though I had been in touch with him weekly during his illness, from the UK, it was a shock to get this message. I approached Matt to bring Creative Spark in as a partner with my agency Digital Fire when we pitched for the Philips business. We won the pitch together, the biggest win for either agency at that stage and one of which we were both proud. He, I and our teams worked very closely together for the next 4 years. He was at first a colleague and then became a good friend. I respected him. We spent a lot of time together. He was passionate, hard working and honest. We had some barneys but always made up and my memory of him will be of his smile, his energy and ready laugh. The thoughts of all my team who worked with him and all my family are with the Bucklands. He would want us all to press on and make the best of our lives. He certainly did.

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