We’ve been trialling the site for about three weeks, ironing out bugs and getting new writers onboard. It’s a hybrid blog-media product which I think combines the best of both worlds. It aims to be a place where M&G journalists, columnists and other writers, commentators, intellectuals and opinion makers across various industries and political spectrums meet. But it’s not only a platform for some of the country’s established writers and personalities but also home to some of the country’s up-and-coming writers. We have around 40 writers signed up to it so far.
A key aspect that we were insistent on was that this was an “editorial blog” product. We needed the content to pass through an editor… old-fashioned traditional media style. So all blog content goes through our online editor Riaan Wolmarans. Unlike our other blog products, we needed this because Thought Leader appears strongly under the Mail & Guardian brand, therefore the company is liable, responsible and directly associated with the content. We had the debate internally for months while conceptualising Thought Leader, deciding that all content, whether in a newspaper, a website or blog needs to go through a gate-keeping process if under our brand.
We’ve had some interesting posts, including:
- Bat-eared human rodents and the annoyance factor in politics by Ndumiso Ngcobo
- Why atheists are just plain right by Jarred Cinman
- Thabo Mbeki is quite right by Ivo Vegter
- Zim: Quiet diplomacy is the only way!
- What the Guardian’s journalism tells us about the media … and Thabo Mbeki by Robert Brand
- The Oppikoppi A-Z by Tony Lankester
and many more…