Monthly Archives: April 2006

South African online media 'comes of age'

Here is some exciting new findings from research commissioned by the local Online Publisher’s Association. It was conducted by Arthur Goldstuck, who is an independent ICT analyst in South Africa who found that it took South Africa’s online publishing industry nine years, from 1994 to 2003, to grow to the R60-million revenue mark, yet it is set to treble that amount in the subsequent three years. “It’s looking very positive for online advertising – a medium that has finally come of age,” said Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx. “But this phenomenal growth masks the fact that the numbers would be far higher if the advertising industry woke up to the potential of the medium.”

Impressions: African media leaders conference in Kenya

Am back in Johannesburg now after being at the African Media Leadership Confrence in Kenya. It was a fantastic trip. Highlights include visiting The Nation Group Headquarters, a big Kenyan Media group in the capital Nairobi; networking with African media practicioners from Uganda, Ethopia, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi and other places; and going to my first Kenyan Nightclub — which was very impressive and a huge amount of fun.

Big media houses are good for media development

Nixon Karithii, head of media studies at Wits, is a man I have immense respect for. But why does he think big media houses and big media conglomerates are a bad thing. Sure we want diversity and many players in the market, but having big media houses does not exclude smaller players from rising up and challenging and even becoming big conglomerates in their own right.

Amoeba vs Goliath

Andrew Jones from Black Earth Communications did a presentation on his history in trying to secure a TV licence in South Africa and Botswana. He is a frustrated man. He laments the Multichoice Satellite monopoly and the fact that they refused to grant him a “black channel”.

The right media brand for the Youth in South Africa

Khalik Sherrif, Director YFM, South Africa was at the African leadership strategies conference in Kenya. One of the best, most passionate presentations I have ever seen. He talks about YFM’s success in getting the youth market by opening its studio, shop and offices in a glitzy mall (Rosebank) rather than a dull office.

Hats off to Media24’s tabloids

Blogging the African Leadership Conference in Kenya, Nairobi

Ingo Capraro, Editor of the relatively new tabloid, Die Son in South Africa gave us a talk on the successes of the paper. Die Son is part of the powerful Media24/Naspers group – the biggest media player in Africa.

Die Son editor gave us a presentation on the newspaper’s successes. It is a tabloid unashamedly covering sex, scandal and has its own page three girl. There was a fair amount of criticism about what the paper was doing. Not sure what the fuss is about.

Who’s running the show at newspapers?

Blogging the African Leadership Conference in Kenya, Nairobi

Dr Peter Mwesige, Acting Head, Mass Communication Department, Makerere University and Former Executive Editor Monitor Publications in Uganda delivered an interesting speech on “African quality journalism”. He emphasised that if we treat the media “like any other business”, we distort the principles of journalism. He noted that there obviously needs to be a healthy mix with regards to the drive for profitability and good journalism, but that the drive for profitability seems to be affecting the craft of journalism. He’s right.

In Nairobi for AFRICAN MEDIA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

At the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Media Programme for Sub-Sahara Africa & Sol Plaatje Media Leadership Institute. Nairobi Safari Club, Nairobi, Kenya 4-7 April 2006.

Just arrived in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi today and set my clock one hour forwards. I coincidentally sat next Alec Hogg, MD of Moneyweb, on the flight from Joburg to Nairobi and we had a very interesting conversation, largely around Google and how we love and hate it — and how Google is changing our business models and the way people see and read our websites.