​M&G’s growing circulation shows the enduring power of print

The Mail & Guardian strives to continue to speak to the lived experiences of South Africans. (Troy Enekvist, M&G)

The Mail & Guardian strives to continue to speak to the lived experiences of South Africans. (Troy Enekvist, M&G)

The Mail & Guardian remains the most resilient of print media publications in South Africa. Results from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABCs) for October to December 2016 show that total circulation of the M&G is up 11.3% quarter on quarter, whereas our competitors recorded an overall decline of 6.1% in the same period.

The M&G is the only weekly newspaper with a double-digit circulation increase quarter on quarter.

The Sunday Times and The Financial Mail declined by 3% and 9% respectively for this period. And although the M&G is often compared to Business Day, the M&G, with a total circulation of 32 034 copies a week, is now 10 000 copies larger than Business Day (22 069 copies a day).

Pronouncements of the death of print in South Africa have certainly been exaggerated.

As we noted last year, print media continues to be crucial in determining the tenor of the national conversation.
And it is print media that continues to be the vanguard of democracy, accountability and good governance.

Independent media such as the M&G are crucial for a thriving democracy. And we continue to work towards safeguarding our editorial products from commercial and political pressure.

The parallel rise in our digital subscriptions and the increasing popularity of M&G events bodes well for the future of the publication as a multiplatform news medium rooted in the traditions of good, quality journalism.

Higher circulation, however, is not something we seek as an end in itself: at the M&G we strive to ensure that our work addresses the lived experiences of South Africans. We aim to ensure that power is held in check and our mandate remains a meaningful contribution to a more just and equitable society. 

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