by Gill Moodie (@grubstreetSA) For the past couple of years — and especially last year as the health of Nelson Mandela health steadily deteriorated — South Africa’s editors waited, prepared and planned for when the father of the nation would pass on. Still, most were dreading it because they knew it would be one of the most challenging, extraordinary stories of our time.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup threw up some formidable obstacles for editor Andrew Trench and his team at East London daily, the Daily Dispatch (owned by Avusa Media).
Port Elizabeth, whose stadium played host to a number of world cup games, rests on the edge of the newspaper’s circulation footprint, and is also the home of rival The Herald (also published by Avusa). Residents of East London felt a keen sense of disappointment after having had to witness Buffalo City Municipality’s flopped attempts to try and lure a world cup team to use the city as a base says, says Trench.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup has been the biggest South African news story so far this year. The tournament dominated media coverage over several months, both in the build-up to and during the actual event. Newspapers sat between a rock and a hard place during the world cup, as television ruled with its live broadcasts and online was first with live commentary, opinion and blow-by blow recounts.