M&G defies industry trends with rising circulation figures – and wins multiple awards

The Mail & Guardian has just won a number of industry awards and added some top-notch, award-winning journalists to its editorial team, and continues to be the only newspaper to consistently increase its audited circulation.

It is a gratifying come-back for the newspaper, which went through a tough time last year.

The newspaper raked in several trophies at the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards on August 15.

Editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay won the columns/editorial category for a body of her work and Bhekisisa director and M&G health editor Mia Malan took the feature writing category for “Diepsloot: Where men think it’s their right to rape”.

Beauregard Tromp, who has been the M&G’s news editor since January, and the Sunday Times’s James Oatway won the hard news category and the story of the year award for “The killing of Emmanuel Sithole”, written while Tromp was at the Sunday Times.

Siphe Macanda, who won the newspaper journalist of the year award for “Siyenza toilet scandal”, which was published in the Daily Dispatch, joins the M&G from September 1.

A newspaper relies on the talents of the production team, and the M&G’s ongoing efforts to bring out a weekly paper that not only features in-depth journalism but also delivers it in an engaging and appealing manner has been recognised, with M&G and Beeld sharing the prestigious Joel Mervis award.

The award recognises excellence in layout and typography, advertising, printing and production as well as the balanced use of pictures and graphics. The M&G has won this award outright four times in the past 15 years and shared the top spot with City Press in 2012.

“We are grateful that our hard work to rebuild the M&G team and produce compelling journalism is paying off,” said Pillay.
“We’re constantly working to do even more and will be rolling out new plans and products to ensure we stay relevant to our audience.”

The M&G is achieving just that, if the figures released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations on August 11 for the second quarter of this year are anything to go by. It is one of the few newspapers to consistently increase its paying readership, having seen strong growth every quarter compared with a year earlier. Following a small but encouraging increase of 0.5% in the last quarter of 2015, circulation soared by 12.1% in the first quarter, when other weeklies in general were down by 10.3%. The latest results, for the second quarter of this year, show M&G’s paying readership is up by 6.3% against an overall drop of 6.7% for weeklies.

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