According to Caxton’s ROOTS research, local newspapers have the broadest reach of print media in LSM 4 to 7 market, a 55% readership which is much higher than in daily or weekly papers. Local newspapers have 66% readership in Soweto, with Alex News alone having a 77% readership in Alexandra.
Thirty-four of these newspapers have an ’emerged market’ readership, including 11 urban papers in the Soweto areas and 11 isiZulu-written Eyethu papers across KwaZulu-Natal. These papers reach an extremely high number of people, with over 900 000 copies distributed weekly and between five and 10 people reading each issue.
“Our target readership is no longer emerging. It has emerged. The financially empowered black middle class has more than trebled in the last 12 years driven by BBBEE, education, job opportunities in the civil sector, urbanisation, and access to finance. Our readership is aspiring and has no inhibitions in striving for success and for acquiring the fruits of that success,” says Jaco Koekemoer, managing director of Caxton Local Media and Coldset Printing at Caxton Group, in a press release.
The population size is considerably larger in emerging markets, and is a segment with many unfulfilled needs. Now that their earnings have increased, they are more receptive to bigger purchase decisions. ROOTS research has shown that 29% of households in Alexandra earn between R12 000 and R24 999 and 68% fall within the LSM 6 and 7 profile.
The Caxton’s Eyethu brand is now the largest circulating isiZulu-community newspaper brand in KZN, with a total circulation in excess of 245 000 copies, significantly above the combined circulations of Ilanga and Isolezwe.
The African Reporter (left) is one of the largest, and best-selling, sold community papers in the country, enjoying an extensive distribution exceeding 20 000 issues per week. “Being a sold paper means we have slightly more editorial space to cover a diverse range of topics and we are able to give each story a little more space than might be possible in a free sheet paper with a higher loading,” says Koekemoer.
Koekemoer says very published story is of relevance, importance and interest to the vast majority of the community. There’s a focus on feel good stories about people in the area, especially where neighbours have collectively helped someone in the area. “Our emerged-market papers aim to uplift the community through positive human-interest stories,” he says.