South African media is a vibrant, developed and thriving industry. Radio is the country’s most accessible media, with 88.1% reach among the adult population, and television reaches some 83.9%. Print media captures a smaller portion of the population, with an estimated 64.9% of the population accessing newspapers and/or magazines. The sector shares many of the challenges currently experienced by media outlets around the world. As a result, it has been affected by the uncertainties of the global economic climate, which have manifested themselves in the fragmentation of audiences and decreasing advertiser budgets.
The South African advertising and communications industry is a growing network of leading international agencies and established home-grown firms. While print advertising has suffered, radio, television and out-of- home formats remain strong. Fast technological developments and a restructuring away from traditional media offer ample opportunity for innovation and growth. Digital advertising, various online schemes and advertising delivered to mobile devices are all likely to be important growth areas.
This chapter contains an interview with Nic Dawes, Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian.