From the SABC saga, to big radio moves, and older stories continuing to resurface, The Media Online kept busy this year. Here are the top read stories from 2018.
New York offers a ‘terrifying’ window into the future of mass media
Chris Moerdyk’s trip to New York provided him with plenty of food for thought, based on observations he made on the way people are consuming mass media in the United States. He compared it to the situation in South Africa, and unpacked why it is a frightening future. Click here to read the story.
Ukhozi maintains position as top radio station and other RAM results
Now that everyone has settled into the Broadcast Research Council’s Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) research, after some initial concerns and fears, the results of every release continue to be fascinating. Lwazi Mpofu combed through the data for The Media Online to deliver the golden nuggets media planners and buyers need to know. Click here to read the story.
Behind the brand: Absa repositions as Brave, Passionate, Ready
Rebranding can be a difficult process for some brands, but after a lengthy planning and consultation process, South African bank Absa pulled off theirs without too many hiccups. While there is still debate in the marketing space about how relevant and effective the move actually was, there’s no denying that the brand generated a lot of buzz around the change. A dazzling drone light show introduced the rebranding to the broader public, while The Media Online was treated to a sneak peek event, which was under strict embargo. Click here to read the story.
The top 13 most followed South Africans on Twitter
Lists prove to be very popular on the site, and this one from 2017 is not the last one you will encounter in this article. Michael Bratt explored the number of followers the top South Africans have on Twitter. The Media Online is currently mulling the idea of updating this list in early 2019, so keep your eyes on the site for that possibility. Click here to read the story.
And South Africa’s top 10 magazines are…
Another list, and this one was published in 2014 and written by the late Gordon Patterson. Every media type has faced extreme pressures this year, including the magazine sector. The recent announcement of the closure of Ndalo Media is a prime example. But some magazines have pushed through the chaos and are striving. Back in 2014, they were ranked by Patterson. Click here to read the story. [We did update Patterson’s popular story, asking Justin McCarthy to probe the figures three years later. Here’s what he found in his piece, SA’s top performing magazines.]
Grootes to join SAfm? SABC responds to Malema’s accusations of ‘whiteness’
South Africa’s public broadcaster made many headlines during 2018. Radio presenter moves are always popular talking points on the site, and Stephen Grootes’ move to SAfm certainly got people talking. When EFF leader Julius Malema enters this picture at the same time, then this story was always destined to be well read. Click here to read the story.
World Cup 2018: Where and how to watch, the hashtags, gifs and goods
Not only did this year’s soccer World Cup produce a surprise finalist in Croatia, with many of the bigger teams departing early, but it also generated a lot of revenue and high viewership figures for broadcasters. In the run-up to the tournament, Glenda Nevill provided an everything-you-need to know guide, which was very well received by readers. Click here to read the story.
The evolution of South African media over 20 years
Despite being published in 2014, Raymond Louw’s review and analysis of South African media continued to remain popular this year. Two decades on from the dawn of democracy in South Africa, Louw painted a rather gloomy picture about the state of the fourth estate in the country. Click here to read the story.
The big debate: Did the Sunday Times cross a line with Nando’s #rightmyname campaign?
Blurring the lines between advertising and editorial, the Sunday Times caused a stir in March this year, when it ran a front page with spellchecked marks. It was part of a campaign by popular restaurant chain Nando’s, which, while very worthwhile, got the newspaper into a lot of hot water. Click here to read the story.
What the latest RAM tells us about radio
The second story on this list that is focused on BRC’s RAM research. Lwazi Mpofu again applied his data deep diving skills, this time to the March figures. Click here to read the story.
Darren Simpson to leave 947, Greg & Lucky to take over afternoon drive
Radio presenter shuffles and moves always attract a lot of attention on The Media Online, and this one was big. Darren ‘Whackhead’ Simpson left 947 to move to Cape Town, switching to Primedia Broadcasting’s Kfm station, while the duo of Greg & Lucky were given the afternoon drive time slot. Click here to read the story.
South Africans love drama, and the TV soapie hits just keep coming
Originally published in The Media magazine, this story by Lucinda Jordaan proved that South Africans love reading about television soapies, as much as they love them. She highlighted some upcoming programming that was bound to excite and went behind the scenes to find out why this genre is so profitable for South African broadcasters. Click here to read the story.
Yes, you CAN cancel your cellphone contract
The most read story on The Media Online of all time continued its momentum this year, coming in the top 10. Clearly people have had enough of their cellular providers and are looking for a way out. Perhaps Amanda Patterson needs to provide an updated version of this story to ensure that the procedures and information remains up to date? Click here to read the story.
So what do Generations actors and other soap stars earn?
Another story that explores South Africa’s soapie scene, this time written by Glenda Nevill. Originally published in 2014, readers remain interested in this behind the scenes look into the compensation of the biggest stars. Click here to read the story.
Robert Marawa, the SABC and sport: Sometimes the question is merely, why?
Robert Marawa’s return to the SABC was shrouded in controversy, as rumours of a R5 million payment swirled, at a time when the public broadcaster was financially strapped. Tim Zunckel provided this opinion piece on the situation, which was very thought provoking. Click here to read the story.
Understanding the limits of freedom of expression in context of social media
Social media is both a blessing and a curse, as it allows for the sharing of ideas, information and debates, while at the same time providing a platform for vitriol, hatred and discriminatory language to be spewed. Rosalind Davey penned The Media Online a piece back in 2016, exploring just how far the right of freedom of speech extends on the likes of Twitter and Facebook. The information contained in it, still remains very much applicable. Click here to read the story.
Views by the million: South Africa’s top 15 most subscribed YouTubers
An updated version of this story is planned for next year, but in the meantime readers continued to be interested in South Africans that are making their mark on YouTube. It will be interesting to see how the list changes, if at all, when it is reviewed and updated. Click here to read the story.
Privacy vs freedom of speech: Social media and defamation
Rosalind Davey’s first piece on the limitations of what people can post on social media, which led to another piece from her, described above. It remains relevant to this day, hence it claimed the third spot in this year’s most read list. Click here to read the story.
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes as SABC Radio shuffles presenters… but no word yet on SAfm yet
When the public broadcaster revealed a raft of presenter changes across its radio stations, readers gobbled the story up (as they do with almost all radio presenter stories posted to the site). Conspicuous by its absence was SAfm, with those changes only being announced later. This story claimed the number two spot on the most read list for 2018. Click here to read the story.
Dissecting the LSM 7-10 market
Even though the Living Standard Measure (LSMs) model has been replaced by the Socio-Economic Measure (SEMs) model, there was still a great deal of interest around the former in 2018. Megan Chronis’ story, which was first published in 2012, claimed the top spot on this year’s most read stories list. In it, she explores specifically the LSM 7-10 group, the characteristics of people who fall into this group, and why it is so important for brands. Click here to read the story. [Again, we updated this story, asking Britta Reid to pen a series on the SEMS. She started with a closer look at SEM 8-10. Here is the series Part 1 and Part 2 at the bottom of the story.]