Setting the tabloid agenda: what two Afrikaans-language tabloids offer their readers
10071474 - Fourie, Lynnette Mitizi
Froneman, Johannes Degenaar
Smith, Aletta Elizabeth Lukas GJVV
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South African tabloids generally thrive while mainstream newspapers struggle to compete with the current front-runners, Afrikaans-language tabloid Son and the English-language Daily Sun. However, not all South African tabloids are success stories: the Afrikaans-language tabloid Sondag has struggled since its inception, in particular prior to Ingo Capraro's takeover in 2009. This article consequently aims to establish why Kaapse Son and Sondag, two Afrikaans-language tabloids from the same media stable, have been received so differently. Why has Son hit the mark so impressively and why has Sondag been unable to succeed in terms of circulation and readership? In an attempt to answer these questions, this article explores the content and presentation of these two tabloids in the period just before Capraro took over the editorship in an attempt to save the newspaper from its dwindling circulation, i.e. the period in which Willem Pretorius was editor of Sondag. This comparative content analysis of the newspapers is conducted against a background of the nature of tabloid newspapers in South Africa, and within the framework of the agenda-setting theory. The background is explored by means of a literature review and conversations with editors from both newspapers. The analysis shows that Son has a strong community focus and provides its audience with relevant and up-to-date information they can apply to their everyday lives. In comparison, Sondag (under Pretorius� editorship) resembled a supermarket tabloid, with a focus on celebrities. It is suggested that, in order to survive, an Afrikaans-language tabloid should provide local, community-focused stories that pertain to the everyday lives of its readers.
- Faculty of Humanities