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Wherever and whenever you are reading this week’s Mail & Guardian, thank you for buying our newspaper. Siyabonga, re a leboga, enkosi, dankie. You are why our newsroom can keep doing good journalism.

In our first-ever edition, 35 years and two months ago, the editorial started with: “The Weekly Mail is not just another newspaper.” The idea was simple — create a space where journalists could do their work without interference, so as to hold those in power to account. Since then, this newsroom has reported on the brutality of the apartheid regime and the structural violence of our current, democratic system. We have also documented the growth of our society and this continent. Our work has forced policy to change, driven corporations to be better and also taught all of us a bit more about our shared humanity. 

Throughout this, our journalism has been supported by advertisers and readers, both in the print newspaper and online. The M&G is not just another newspaper. Our newsroom is partly owned by staff, and we know each one of you also feels some sort of ownership as well. 

In April, as the country went into lockdown and every industry faced the real possibility of collapse, we thought the end was near. Advertising income collapsed. We also lost some senior staff members. 


With travel restricted, we thought people might stop buying newspapers. But you didn’t. When we asked, you took out digital subscriptions and picked up your weekly M&G

Thanks to this, we are still here. 

And, starting this week, we will be celebrating our 35 years of journalism. You’ll find a curation of stories from 1985 further in. You’ll also find a 4 000 word climate change story, as well the usual investigations into the corrupt and powerful, our continent and the arts and cultural heart of life. 

Expect more of this. — Sipho Kings, acting editor-in-chief

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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.

Sipho Kings
Sipho Kings is the acting editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian

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