The Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa has been dissolved.
In a badly constructed letter issued this week, members of MPASA were informed of the “deregistration and dissolution” of the association.
“This has been a lengthy few years,” writes chairman Willem Breytenbach. “… the rapid change in the magazine publishing industry means that MPASA is no longer a sustainable entity.”
What are we to make of this statement?
It gets more perplexing. “MPASA is an essentially dormant non profit company which has inadequate assets and because of this we have seen several members and board members resign.”
What of the lavish PICA Awards ceremony held just three weeks ago, dripping with sponsorship and a high gloss brochure handed to guests who paid handsomely to attend? Furthermore there is no mention of subscription fees paid in good faith over many years to an organisation that has obviously been in dire straits for “a lengthy few years”.
Apparently there is a new magazine sub committee that will report to Print and Digital Media SA (PDMSA) to “give support to all magazine publishers as well as organising the PICA Awards”.
To top it all Breytenbach and his committee attempt to thwart criticism by placing blame on the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for MPASA’s decIsion to dissolve. “In the light of the recent withdrawal of NAB from SAARF – which will affect magazine publishers – the organised media industry is still very necessary,” he writes.
Ironically print media capped their contribution to SAARF in 2003 and have been supported by the NAB’s continued funding of AMPS since then.
This dissolution is not a result of rapid change in the magazine sector but rather of a poorly structured and badly run association that should have risen to the occasion and better represented member interests.
Read the full letter here: Mpasa.
IMAGE: SARIE’S Michelle van Breda, winner of the PICA Award for editor of the year