Digital pioneer Matthew Buckland dies

Buckland studied journalism at Rhodes University and completed a Harvard Business School executive education course for future leaders. (Twitter)

Buckland studied journalism at Rhodes University and completed a Harvard Business School executive education course for future leaders. (Twitter)

Digital news entrepreneur Matthew Buckland has died at age 45. Buckland was formerly the head of the Mail & Guardian’s online division from 2000 to 2007 where he founded award-winning collaborative news and opinion platform, Thought Leader while establishing the M&G’s digital businesses. Buckland had taken over the M&G’s digital division from Irwin Manoim who launched the M&G’s digital presence in 1994.
It was Buckland however who would go on to convert the M&G Online as one of the continent’s leading news websites.

Following his time at the M&G, Buckland went on to establish a division at Naspers’ online publisher News24.com. 

Buckland, a pioneer in internet entrepreneurship, founded digital agency Creative Spark and publishing company Burn Media in 2010. He sold his majority shares in both companies to international advertising agency M&C Saatchi in 2015. Buckland would later take the reins of Burn Media Group which owns technology publishing brands which report on emerging markets Memeburn and Ventureburn. Ventureburn focuses on the startup, entrepreneur and investor ecosystems in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

Buckland was also a consultant and entrepreneur-in-residence at multinational media fund Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) which backs global media clients through financial investments and strategy assistance. The MDIF, which is also the primary shareholder in M&G Media, has invested more than $166-million in over 114 independent businesses in 39 countries.

Buckland served on the advisory board of the MDIF’s South Africa Media Innovation Program. In a statement, the MDIF said Buckland shared “ his business acumen with the next generation of media companies transforming the country.” 

Buckland studied journalism at Rhodes University and completed a Harvard Business School executive education course for future leaders with a focus on online business and social networking. He is survived by his wife Bridget and two daughters.

This article has been updated.

Mashadi Kekana

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