Digital pioneer Matthew Buckland dies

Digital news entrepreneur Matthew Buckland has died at age 45. Buckland was previously the head of the Mail & Guardian’s online division for seven years where he founded award-winning collaborative news and opinion platform, Thought Leader. Buckland took over the M&G’s digital division from Irwin Manoim who launched the platform in 1994 and turned it into one of the continent’s leading and profitable digital websites.

While at the M&G, Buckland also launched Amatomu, a blogging platform.

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 investor 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 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 Brigette and two daughters.

Subscribe to the M&G

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.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

‘Elusive Spring’ reveals South Africa today

Mike van Graan’s 2012 political thriller comes to life again ― and its themes are more relevant than ever

Thank you for supporting our journalism

Thank you for buying our newspaper. Siyabonga, re a leboga, enkosi, dankie. You are why our newsroom can keep doing good journalism

‘Killing the chicken to scare the monkey’: what Jimmy Lai’s arrest means for Hong Kong’s independent media

Although self-censorship has long been a concern, Hong Kong has traditionally enjoyed a vibrant free press

How to report on humanitarian crises: A guide for Western journalists

The world has become a more complicated place — that doesn’t mean your reporting has to be.

After a 55-year struggle, a major victory for press freedom in Sierra Leone

A law used to harass and intimidate journalists has been repealed

On Hodan Nalayeh’s brave legacy, and what it means to be Somali

Hodan Nalayeh was a Somali journalist famous for telling uplifting, positive stories about her country. She was killed in a terrorist attack in Kismayo in July 2019. A year later, the writer Ifrah Udgoon remembers how Nalayeh’s life and work shaped her own
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Vitamin therapy is for drips

It may be marketed by influencers, but intravenous vitamin therapy is not necessary and probably not worth the hype, experts say

Facebook, Instagram indiscriminately flag #EndSars posts as fake news

Fact-checking is appropriate but the platforms’ scattershot approach has resulted in genuine information and messages about Nigerians’ protest against police brutality being silenced

Murder of anti-mining activist emboldens KZN community

Mam’Ntshangase was described as a fierce critic of mining and ambassador for land rights.

Unite with Nigeria’s ‘Speak Up’ generation protesting against police brutality

Photos of citizens draped in the bloodied flag have spread around the world in the month the country should be celebrating 60 years of independence
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday