Editors understand the value and diversity of the Afrikaans market

16 Nov 2020

Media24’s Afrikaans print publications reach 1.6 million readers, while 2.6 million readers engage with the titles online. The editors understand that they can only count on the sustained support of these readers as long as they can thrill and engage them.

Some of South Africa’s most influential editors shared their insights into the Afrikaans market at a recent Ads24’s Brunch with the Editors webinar for advertisers and marketers. Netwerk24 is the digital home for Media24’s weekly, daily and local Afrikaans newspapers, as well as its Afrikaans magazines. Therefore, Deputy Editor, Theresa Olivier is well positioned to provide a national view of the Afrikaans market and the extent of its diversity of views and composition; she described it as comprising “every South African you can think of”.

Taking a segment of the Afrikaans market, the Coloured community, as an example, she expanded on the notion of diversity: some people considered themselves Muslim first and Coloured second, while others, termed Coloured by the government, did not see themselves as such. While there were poorer, less educated people, others had advanced to the higher levels of education. The colour of money has changed, she said; this market is vibrant. Humorously, she suggested automotive preference was a way of segmenting this market: Toyota vs BMW drivers.

For Son readers, language was not the key factor in the decision to read the title: it was because the publication is rooted in their community and represents their interests and values, argued Neil Scott. He felt that the community was sometimes stigmatised. While Son reported on issues such as gangsterism, it also sought to celebrate the community’s heroes such as Devon Petersen, the first African professional darts champion and the finalists of Maak My Famous – a talent competition presented by Emo Adams on Kyknet.

Bringing a regional perspective was Barnard Beukman, Editor: Beeld who suggested that the adaptability of the Afrikaans community had not been sufficiently recognised. He made the point that some of the most robust debates take place in the Afrikaans press and stressed that Beeld offered a variety of voices: it did not offer the cosy refuge of a Fox News. Both editorial interaction and research indicated that the Afrikaans community placed emphasis on education, the needs of their children, careers and financial security. Not surprisingly, therefore, they had an impressive stake in the higher income and LSM stratification. He also highlighted the importance of community news to his readers.

This point was endorsed by Gert Coetzee, Editor: Volksblad who illustrated it in the Free State by outlining the dynamic tension between his publication (news reporter) and The Cheetahs, as well as their coverage of the dispute between the Grey College School Governing Body and the principal.

While the Afrikaans market is diverse, Olivier revealed that she believes there are some powerful common denominators: love of the language, and love of this beautiful country and where it can be taken to, if everyone works together.

In this webinar, the Media 24 editors unequivocally demonstrated their understanding of the value and diversity of Afrikaans market. Their publications offer advertisers engaged readers and the opportunity to partner with pioneering content producers.