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The scoreboard does not lie

A Local Focus is a Caxton Local Papers and Spark Media initiative to focus business decision-makers attention on the local newspaper market, which has remained resilient through the testing times of the pandemic. In the last quarter of 2020, an average of 4,885,614 local newspapers were distributed regularly.

Local papers now constitute the lion’s share of newspapers distributed in South Africa: 79%. Their health and ongoing relevance indisputably counter the dominant doom-laden narrative about the demise of newspapers frequently bandied about media agencies and marketing departments. Both the latest and the historic trend data, released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa (ABC), are testimony to the unique position that local newspapers have in the media landscape. Their distinctive distribution model and special role in the lives of household decision-makers gave them advantages when the Covid-19 crisis struck, curbing mobility, creating fear of contact and hurting pockets. A combination of their close understanding of their communities’ needs and agility allowed local newspapers to innovate during lockdown.

Spark Media's local papers are alive! ABC's show an 8% increase in Q4 denoting a positive trajectory

Free and sold local papers make up just over 78% of the total 6.1 million newspapers in circulation in the last quarter of 2020. Leaving the remaining weekend, weekly and daily titles to make up 22% of the total newspapers in print...

Issued by Spark Media 17 Feb 2021


As South Africa works towards recovery, it is clear that businesses cannot afford wasted marketing investment. Kantar’s Business Compass shows that marketing, trade marketing, media and research budget cuts across the board were more frequent and deeper in South Africa than the global benchmark. It shows that businesses recognise the need to change or be changed.

Businesses are reviewing how best to communicate with their consumers and how to optimise their media budgets; it is time to destroy myths and dispense with faddish tendencies in media decision-making and ensure that effective campaigns are delivered during this time of rebuilding. The following articles provide the business decision-maker with the insights and information to understand the valuable role that local news brands play in consumers’ lives and on effective media schedules.

Rejuvenation of local print media

The Rosebank Killarney Gazette demonstrated a myriad of print insert products recently - from the impressive insert jacket, to an A4 and A3 single sheet insert, a PowerWrap and an eight-page feature insert with an interactive competition by Canon...

Issued by Spark Media 7 Jul 2020


What is the ABC?

The ABC is a not-for-profit independent industry body. Its main objective is to provide and certify accurate and comparable circulation figures across a range of media. It provides measured certainty to the process of buying and selling of advertising.

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Read the full report here.

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Spark Media
Spark Media, a division of Caxton & CTP Publishers and Printers Ltd is an advertising and media-solutions, sales company. We represent Caxton-owned local newspapers, as well as selected independent publications in Sub-Saharan Africa. We offer solutions that focus on location-targeted content.
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