The Thought Leadership Digibates is a series of monthly industry digital debates, organised by Aegis Media,
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[Thought Leadership Digibates] 04: The current state of print media in SA

The fourth Thought Leadership Digibate, recently hosted by Aegis Media in conjunction with in Cape Town, covered topics regarding the current state of print media in South Africa. The digibate averaged 936 listeners per second, with just over 9000 listeners in Africa who remained tuned in for the full two hours.

Panel of experts

The panel of experts that was moderated by Dawn Rowlands, CEO of Aegis Media Sub-Saharan Africa, included Raymond Joseph; Vanessa Raphaely of Associated Magazines; Danette Breitenbach - editor; AdVantage magazine; Karen Phelan, MD of Full Circle Media; and Nic van den Berg, trading director of Aegis Media Sub-Saharan Africa.

The panelists reviewed the current state of print media in SA and were almost all unanimous that the market had seen dramatic and quick changes in print advertising spend in 2011, with less being spent on print and more on TV and digital media. It was noted that most publishers who invested well into digital are in a better position today and they urged publishers to stop depending on paper sales and to rather focus on content, and to invest in the relationship with their audience.

On the journalism side, it was said that journalism would always survive and that the readers were still there, but they were more discerning about what they read. Looking at print and integration into new media, it was established that readers would pay for content and that traditionally in SA current publishers were, in fact, not investing in their own brands.

Issue of business opportunities

The most participated section of the digibate was the issue of business opportunities and the future of print in SA.

"Print begins the conversation and it continues online and then should go back into print - but the newspapers in SA don't get that yet. Print no longer rules the roost - people have their own voices and are being heard via the many multimedia platforms and publishers need to get out of the dark ages and adapt or die," said Joseph.

The debate was held on Friday, 16 March 2012.

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Listen every month

The Thought Leader Digibates are held monthly and include a panel of leading media-marketing experts who will discuss, debate and share their knowledge - gleaned over years of experience - with a wider audience. The official Twitter hashtag is #aegisTL.

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