What Mail & Guardian Does Differently Online?.
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According to its website (“Mail & Guardian: About Us, 2014” ) Mail & Guardian readership is interested in a critical approach to politics, arts and current affairs. Which is predominantly professionals, academics, diplomats, lobbyists, non-governmental groups.
The Mail & Guardian Online is the first internet-based news publication in Africa and was launched in 1994 (“Mail & Guardian – About us, 2014”).
Even though the internet publication works narrowly with the print version, it has its own dedicated staff and editor. The site has an active blogging community, known as Thoughtleader, and various Twitter-feeds.
According to the study that was done by MarenetJordaan in 2012 on Mail & Guardian and the Rapport, the Digital Platforms manager at the Mail & Guardian, said “they use the social media to place themselves at the centre of a physical social network, as it can let them reach out to people they might never otherwise have access to.
And also social media affords them the opportunity to “broadcast” their thoughts, thereby widening the reach of their messages. Also using it as a source for ideas and to promote their headlines and new stories break.
(Source: MarenetJordaan, 2012. Social media in the newspaper newsroom : the professional use of Facebook and Twitter at Rapport and The Mail & Guardian).
Jordaan goes on to highlight that Mail & Guardian acknowledges that digital media are capable of delivering news soon after an event occurred, leaving little room for newspapers to “break” news.
However, they are confident that there would always be a need for the analysis and interpretation that they help to provide.
A study conducted by Wits Journalism in 2013 (comparing Mail & Guardian to other leading Media Houses) reflects that while the newsrooms for the print and online editions were separate there was a degree of overlap. This was due to the paper’s history, where the Mail & Guardian Online operated as a separate company with a separate budget
In 2012-2013, different reporters were employed to work online and for print but they were expected to file articles for both platforms. The reporter’s filing schedule would be managed as such: online took precedence from Monday to Wednesday while print took over from Thursday for the Friday newspaper.
According to the study done by Wits Journalism in 2013, M&G was ahead with a formal social-media policy while the other newspaper companies were still drafting theirs.