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n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Op weg na 'n sensasionele populistiese gemeenskapspers? - : navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 52, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract

Die 104-jaaroue (die ) se verandering in voorbladstyl word hier ondersoek omdat dit tekens toon van sensasionele populisme (wat visueel sterk tipografie en 'n swaar klem op die dramatiese en emosionele insluit).


Om die in breër konteks te plaas, word ander toonaangewende gemeenskapskoerante ook ondersoek om vas te stel of genoemde populisme 'n algemene neiging by Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskapskoerante is.
Uit die kwalitatiewe analise van die se voorblaaie blyk dit dat die blad in sy 2010-gedaante besonder was: die voorbladontwerp en agenda het wesenlike ooreenkomste met dié van die sensasionele poniepers getoon, maar die binneblaaie het die styl van 'n konvensionele gemeenskapskoerant gehad. In die lig van dié dubbelslagtige benadering, kan die koerant in sy 2010-gedaante nie voorkomsgewys as 'n volwaardige sensasieponie bestempel word nie.
Die impak van koerantvoorblaaie kan egter nie onderskat word nie. Daarom kan die neiging tot al sterker tipografie en die vestiging oor baie jare van 'n emosioneel gelaaide voorbladagenda nie gering geskat word nie. Dit verteenwoordig 'n fundamentele verskuiwing weg van 'n meer besadigde joernalistiek.
Hoewel ander gemeenskapskoerante in mindere of meerdere mate populistiese kenmerke toon, is daar tog steeds 'n beduidende aantal gemeenskapskoerante wat 'n geheel en al ander styl as die van 2010 navolg.
Daar word hier geargumenteer dat gemeenskapskoerante fyn moet onderskei tussen 'n blatante sensasionalisme en 'n lewendige populisme ten einde hul bestaande lesers nie te verloor nie. Boonop bring dit vrae na vore oor die geloofwaardigheid van sulke koerante.


This article examines recent changes made to the front-page of the 104 year old (the ) as these represented a significant break from the conservative typography and news agendas of the past. The has seemingly shifted towards a tabloid style or sensational journalism (which includes strong typography and an emphasis on the dramatic and emotional).
In order to contextualise the 's changes and ascertain whether the said more sensational style has become a general trend amongst South Africa's community newspapers, a number of leading community newspapers are also briefly examined.
This is done against the backdrop of the success achieved by daily and Sunday tabloids, for example the and . The question is posed whether the once conservative community press is headed in the same direction.
A qualitative analysis is made of the size and prominence of headings and photographs, the news agenda and other front-page style elements of the and other community newspapers, such as the populist and ; the semi-populist and ; the more traditional papers with some populist elements, such as the and ; and the more traditional and .
Based on this analysis, it is concluded that the 2010 was quite unique with regard to its tabloid-style, stacked headlines punting stories of crime, accidents and the bizarre.
As the sensational populist style of the 's front-page was not continued on the inside pages, the newspaper had a dualistic character. The newspaper could, therefore, not be described as a true tabloid. However, it is argued that the made a fundamental shift away from a more sober approach to community journalism. (Subsequently, the has reverted back to a more eclectic approach, which utilises all the recent styles.) While the has gradually shifted to a sensational populism, its circulation figures grew markedly - from just above 7 000 in 2007 to 9 000 in 2010. However, the editor denies that the editorial changes were due to managerial pressure. He also emphasises that the newspaper was sensitive to readers' preferences.
Although the study shows that a number of other community newspapers had become populist to some extent, most newspapers did not follow the 's combination of typography and populist news agenda in 2010. It was notable, though, that many of the leading community newspapers incorporated populist elements on their front-pages.
It is argued that while commercial and other pressures are real, community newspapers should carefully distinguish between blatant sensationalism on the one hand and lively populism on the other. Should they ignore this distinction, they run the risk of losing their traditional readers. Furthermore, questions could be raised regarding the tabloidisation of the community press, as it could put the newspapers' trustworthiness at risk.

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/content/akgees/52/2/EJC121975
2012-06-01
2019-08-25

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