The strength of the African Reporter is that it truly is a community centred newspaper, written about the community, for the community. I believe that every story we publish is of relevance, importance and interest to the vast majority of our community.
The community, in my experience, love reading about people they know and can relate to who have “made it” and excelled. We therefore try to keep crime out of most of these pages. However, since this is a reality of the news cycle we cannot leave the crime news out completely and thus try to keep all the crime news together on one page so the rest of the paper is dedicated to more uplofting news. That said crime does feature front and centre where necessary.
Being a sold paper means we have slightly more editorial space which allows us to cover a diverse range of topics and we are able to give each story a little more space than might be possible in a free sheet paper with a higher loading.
The paper covers KwaThema, Tsakane and Duduza, as well as some stories from Daveyton.
- We vary the front page to ensure that all sectors of the news are covered – from hard news to entertainment and everything in between.
- All the hard and breaking news in the community is covered, giving ample space to the event / news item and any follow ups.
- Feel good stories about people in the area, especially where neighbours have collectively helped someone in the area.
- Community events – from the opening of a new development which will empower local labour to shoes being donated to a school.
- In Loving memory – This is An extremely popular column. We include short obituaries for anyone in the community whose family wants to have them featured. These people do not have to be famous, if you lived in Kwatsaduza we will include your obituary. These also include funeral venues and times to ensure that anyone who knew the person knows when they will be buried. These articles go hand-in-hand with the death and funeral notices which form an important part of classified advertising sales every week.
- Stories about people working in the community to make living conditions better or offering a service which helps the community in some way. This can be anything of value to the community from people who recycle and physically clean the community to those creating apps to keep their neighbour safe or entrepreneurs who open businesses to keep themselves and others employed and off the streets.
Although we do not do advertising features very often, there are number of items which we feature every week which I believe make the paper more personal for the readers and contributes to their continued support.
- Highlighting people in the community who have attained great heights or have an interesting story to tell. This could be anything from having an interesting collection of toy cars to being the first black female pilot to qualify and get her wings. Almost any accomplishment can be featured as long as the person has ties to the community.
- What’s On in Kwatsaduza – This is printed in the first week of every month and lists all the community happenings which would usually go into the This and That column (see below). This page features photos of some of the people involved in selected events and an entire page is given to this.
- Our This and That column – This is run every week, except week 1 of every month, is a notice board (for community and non-profit groups) to feature all the happenings in the community for the coming week.
- Facebook likes – we include extra community faces and draw more people into the paper by featuring the photos of people who have liked our Facebook page over the past week.
- Our weekly vox pop also adds a community angle – more faces – as well as giving us additional information about what people are talking about. This helps us ensure that we are covering the news our readers what to read.
- There is a lot of artistic talent in our community and we profile all our up and coming artists from DJs to writers, musicians etc.