No apologies for our New Age ad spend

2011-03-26 09:48

Free State provincial government spokesperson

The Free State provincial government is committed to the free flow of information.

We believe that a diverse media – including large sections that are not owned by large corporations like Independent Group and Media24 – is critical to ensure that all our people enjoy full access to information.

To date, there is little diversity in the media. The New Age adds to the much-needed diversity of voices.

Before its launch in September last year, representatives of The New Age approached the Free State provincial government to make a presentation about their new publication.

We were impressed by their strategy of “inclusiveness”. They aimed to carry news from every province and to consistently cover the smaller towns of the Free State, something the mainstream media has not been able to do.

In order for The New Age to survive, it obviously needs advertising revenue.

Without the support of advertisers, The New Age will probably not succeed.

The Free State provincial government has been one of the many private and government bodies that have advertised in The New Age since its launch last year.

However, we are not a lone advertiser in The New Age.

A quick scan of previous editions shows that The New Age counts among its advertisers telecoms giant Vodacom, state enterprises Telkom and Eskom, and other private companies such as Subaru and Shiva Uranium.

We are not ashamed to be counted among institutions and bodies that promote media diversity in South Africa.

Following media enquiries into our rationale for advertising in The New Age, we conducted an in-depth analysis of the Free State provincial government media spend since the launch of The New Age.

It shows that the lion’s share of our ad spend went to newspapers in the Media24 stable, mainly City Press and Rapport.

These two Media24 titles collectively account for more than 50% of our advertising expenditure since the launch of The New Age.

This is followed by the SABC (about 30%).

A significant portion of our advertising spend went to non-profit and community media in the Free State.Our ad spend on The New Age constitutes less than 5% of our total ad spend in the past six months.

These numbers speak for themselves.

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