Editorial: Turning the page at the M&G

For the last 32 years, the Mail & Guardian— and The Weekly Mail, its previous incarnation—has been South Africa’s leading source of fearless, factual and independent journalism. As the publication welcomes a new proprietor, in the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), that will not change. We remain committed to a rigorous journalism that is in service of a just society.

But some things will have to change— for the better.

It is our ardent hope that our new proprietor, the MDIF, will invest in the newsroom, allowing us the freedom to tell the stories of South Africa as it ought to be told, with focus divided equally to the private and public sector, unpacking the complexities of who we are.

In the meanwhile we are confident that this investment is an endorsement of the quality of the M&G’s journalism—and a guarantee that we will be able to continue doing our job, without financial peril dogging our every move. 

The MDIF, although a registered non-profit, is not a donor. It aims to make the M&G financially sustainable, thereby securing its future, and brings extensive experience operating media houses in other developing countries. With its support, the M&G can now plan for the future. To do so, it can leverage the lessons learned from the 113 publications in 39 countries in which the MDIF is invested.

The M&G thanks outgoing publisher Trevor Ncube for his long tenure, and especially for his fierce commitment to editorial independence. We will demand the same of the MDIF and Hoosain Karjieker.

For all news publishers, these are uncertain, difficult times. But this investment in the M&G means the paper will be able to navigate these complexities— and emerge as a profitable publisher that consistently delivers the best journalism in South Africa, and the African continent.

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