Sales growth endorses M&G’s quest for quality

The Mail & Guardian has followed up the four major accolades it scooped at last week’s Mondi-Shanduka press awards by registering a 5% growth in single-copy sales, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures.

The ABC report shows that the newspaper sold an average of 49 654 copies a week in January to March 2011 compared with 47 156 sales during the same period last year.

This growth took place despite the tough trading conditions in the newspaper industry. Many other newspapers lost circulation in the same period, the ABC figures show.

M&G Media publisher Anastacia Martin said the awards and sales growth reflected the paper’s quality journalism. It was significant, because they coincided with the 20-year anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration principles on press freedom drawn up by African journalists in 1991 and later endorsed by Unesco.

“Our investment in a quality newsroom and our innovative distribution mix has ensured that we deliver trusted content to readers everywhere,” Martin said. “This makes for a winning combination that sees us bucking the trend of falling circulations and being honoured for our in-depth, trustworthy and insightful content.”

She said that the M&G‘s circulation growth reflected readers’ moves to broaden their quest for news across a range of platforms. “In this context, newsrooms that deliver quality information are coming out on top.”

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

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