The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has raised its concerns following the closure of yet another South African publication.
In a statement Sanef said that financial strain in the media industry had the potential to erode the quality of news as a whole and its critical role in strengthening democracy.
“Also, we note the loss of another voice in terms of issues of media diversity. Our industry may be thriving in terms of the successes of various investigative units but it is also, simultaneously, under enormous financial pressure.”
AfroVoice shut down just a few weeks ago and, in November last year, the print version of The Times also closed down.
Earlier this week, Media24 and HuffPost announced plans to end its South African licence.
The companies launched HuffPost South Africa as a partnership in November 2016, with Media24 operating the newsroom and driving the commercial aspect of the partnership.
Sanef said that in terms of attracting an audience HuffPost had done well. It had consistently featured on the list of the top 10 news sites in South Africa and had drawn a readership of 1.63 million unique users.
“Further, it has been an important new voice in South African journalism and has attracted new audiences. However, despite these successes, it has not been able to attract sufficient advertising revenue.”
Sanef said that the loss of jobs was worrying in the media industry, with it impacting moral journalists.
– African News Agency (ANA)
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