The Citizen reports that media conglomerate Tiso Blackstar has announced that their tabloid Sunday World will be closing down. In addition, there will be retrenchments at a number of its publications including the Sowetan, Business Day, The Herald, and Daily Dispatch. The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has released a statement saying they are “perturbed about the continued job losses in the media industry”. Sanef sees the closure of Sunday World as an indication of “hard times for the local media industry”.
The organisation is “concerned that declining numbers of media institutions, publications and the shrinking numbers of journalists will lead to fewer reporting, opinions and debate in the country”. “In the past two years, scores of journalists lost their jobs due to retrenchments by Tiso Blackstar, Media24, Independent Media, and the shutdown of Afro Worldview, previously known as ANN7, by Multichoice,” the statement says. “The SABC has also said it was necessary to retrench journalists to remain financially viable. In some newsrooms, journalists are simply not being replaced, resulting in [a] diminished capacity to cover the length and breadth of the country. “We call on media owners to think creatively and responsibly about implementing new, sustainable business models, built on the integrity and trust our readers, viewers and listeners place in us to tell the country’s stories without fear or favour,” the statement concludes.