Doomsayers say print media is dying – but ask Boland Media about this, and a very different picture emerges. One of its publishers, Annelien Dean, told TheMediaOnline that in some markets the entire life cycle of a newspaper is yet to start.
“The market is open,” says Dean. “Where we’re going, there’s nobody in that market.” She is referring to Western Cape townships, described as an “unserved” market in the print industry. And that is precisely why Boland Media and Media24 have announced the launch of Kasi Vision, a new newspaper targeting the townships of Lwandle and Nomzamo in Somerset West, Kayamandi at Stellenbosch, Zweletemba at Worcester, Mbekweni at Paarl and Zwelihle at Hermanus.
“It’s an untapped market. The saturation rules don’t really apply. The entire life cycle of a newspaper is lying ahead,” says Dean.
The first print run of 25 000 will hit the streets on Friday, 26 September.
The content of the fortnightly, free newspapers, that will be distributed door-to-door, will contain local government news and user-generated content. The readers will co-create the content, with their contributions ranging from letters to poems to social photos.
Readers are very “savvy on social media” these days, especially with free Wi-Fi being available in taxis, which would enable them to stay connected with the newspaper and send content via email, SMS and Kasi Vision’s Facebook page.
“There is a big need for local news,” says Dean, such as information on when a new local clinic will open. Also, the newspapers will offer question-and-answer sessions with local councillors as a forum for readers.
Advertisers were welcoming the opportunity to speak to this market, she says, saying test editions have been “tremendously encouraging”, with companies vying for advertising space on the front page.
“It’s an open market,” says Dean. “Kasi Vision is set to be the single entry point into the townships of the Western Cape.”
IMAGE: Kasi Vision / Facebook
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