By Mandisa Nyathi & Kholofelo Mmola
Johannesburg based student accommodation company, City Waldorf, officially launched its newspaper on Thursday night.
The Waldorfian Times was first established in September 2016. Since then, the newspaper struggled to stay afloat due to an array of issues ranging from funding to not having a strong editorial team.
Five thousand copies of the first edition were distributed to different South African institutions but getting students to actually read the paper is challenging. Waldorfian Times has a creative solution to the problem.
“The team plans on creating competitions in the last page and giving out prize money for the person who reads the whole paper and answers questions related to the stories,” said Khaya Mofokeng, a Public Relations Officer for City Waldorf.
The newspaper will cover health and educational news targeted at its young audience (university and high school students). Because of the growing influence that social media has on young people, readers will also receive guidance about making smart choices online, according to Mofokeng.
The paper’s focus on the youth will extend far beyond readership. “The City Waldorfian team aims on employing students to train them to be work ready and also teach them entrepreneurship skills,” said Noxolo Mthethwa, who is the founding director of Provokar News.
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Waldorfian Times merged with Provokar News, a paper sponsored by Transnet, to improve itself. Mthethwa will be overseeing the operations of the Waldorfian Times. “I am actively involved within every department just to make sure that everything runs smoothly,” she said.
City Waldorf is yet to release the budget for marketing the publication. This has caused a major delay for the paper’s distribution. Approximately R2000.00 is needed for Facebook advertising.
Marketing strategies will be discussed as the paper grows, this includes getting more advertisers. “It is our wish for the paper to get more readership and to distribute it 3 to 4 times a week,” Mofokeng said.
The paper will be distributed once a month and it is no longer just student based but now covering for young adults who can be exposed to the content.