Daily Maverick is a South African daily online newspaper founded in 2009 and edited by Branko Brkic and published by Styli Charalambous. It is run by an independent private company.[2][3][4] According to the Daily Maverick website, the publication is "a unique blend of news, information, analysis and opinion delivered from our newsroom in Johannesburg, South Africa".[2] Charalambous says the website is also "a platform for photojournalism, providing readers with a visual insight into what is happening in South Africa, Africa and globally".[5]

Contributors include free market columnist Ivo Vegter, constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos, founding General Secretary of COSATUJay Naidoo, activist Sisonke Msimang, and photojournalistGreg Marinovich.[3]

Daily Maverick is part of the The GuardianAfrica network.[6]

History

The Daily Maverick website was publicly launched late October 2009. Its name and values are derived from that of Maverick, a defunct South African business magazine published and edited by Brkic from 2005 to 2008. It was also influenced by American news websites The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post. Brkic was born in Yugoslavia and came to South Africa in 1991.[2][7][8][9]

Technology entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jnr was Daily Maverick's first investor. He also introduced Brkic to Charalambous.[10][11][12][13] In his book Mobinomics, he says:[14][15]

In the online media arena, I invested in a venture run by one of the most driven and determined mavericks I know. Branko Brkic, editor and publisher of the Daily Maverick, a journal of news and commentary that is helping to shape the way we see our noisy, disruptive democracy.

— Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, Mobinomics: Mxit and Africa’s Mobile Revolution

Charalambous, a chartered accountant, joined the team a month before the website was launched in 2009. He was born and educated in Port Elizabeth.[16][17][18]

Former deputy editor Phillip de Wet, who had been with Daily Maverick since its inception in 2009 and was also the deputy editor of Maverick magazine from 2005 to 2008, left the team late 2011.[19][20] Associate editor Ranjeni Munusamy began writing for Daily Maverick in April 2012.[21]

Business model

Since inception in 2009, the publication has focussed on quality original content.[7][22][23] Content is free for Internet users to access, without a paywall, and is funded via advertising.[2] Its online advertising model features uncluttered display advertising focussed on a single large premium banner ad per page which is separated from editorial content.[24][16][25]

As at September 2012, the Daily Maverick team included 20 full-time journalists and editorial support staff and an extensive network of op-ed contributors.[16][17]

Reception

In an early article about the new website, business writer Chantelle Benjamin says it "appears user-friendly, with interesting content" and an "attractive layout".[8]

The Mail & Guardian newspaper describes Daily Maverick as an "independent newspaper",[26] and Mail & Guardian executive editor Tanya Pampalone says "It's part Slate, a bit Daily Beast, with a helping of Huffington Post, but it's all home-grown, serving up local news with fresh angles and international news with insight into why it matters to South Africa".[27][28]

In 2011 Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism at Wits University and founding editor of the Mail & Guardian, describes Brkic as "a groundbreaker in South African publishing" and Daily Maverick as "a lively and valuable site, full of opinions and analysis that live up to the site's name and which regularly shows up the dull and predictable publishing that dominates our mainstream".[29] In 2013 he says Daily Maverick "pushes the journalistic boundaries, sometimes with great success and occasionally crossing a line" and describes Daily Maverick as a "shelter for the homeless of journalism, who demand more freedom than they get in the more staid newsrooms".[30]

Media commentator Gill Moodie says "The thoughtful, left-field news and analysis website quickly picked up an audience and became a fixture in our media landscape".[17][4]

Daily Maverick set the editorial agenda on major news stories in 2012 including the Marikana miners' strike.[4][4] Herman Manson, editor of media website MarkLives, says "in terms of insight into what's happening at grassroots and political intelligence, they have emerged as a clear front-runner".[34]

Daily Maverick is considered a niche, high-end website.[22][34] Sipho Hlongwane, who was named Best Youngster at the 2012 Bookmarks Awards,[35] described it as "unspeakably white and upper-middle-class" before becoming a Daily Maverick contributor himself. However, former deputy editor Phillip de Wet has described their ideal demographic as "young, black and urban".[3][27]

In July 2013, the globally syndicated radio show This American Life opened Episode 501: "The View From In Here" with a reading of Richard Poplak's satirical "Open letter to South Africa from foreign media" published in Daily Maverick the previous month.[4]

In November 2013, Bill Keller described Daily Maverick as "feisty" in an op-ed in The New York Times about foreign news coverage.[4]

As at July 2013 the website had exceeded 300,000 unique users per month.[30]

Other ventures

In February 2011, the Daily Maverick team launched online newspaper for the African continent Free African Media,[4][4] and in June 2011 they launched subscription-basediPad newspaper iMaverick.[26][4] They also Beta launched the Newsfirenewswire service, which is a separate business entity, at the ANC National Conference in Mangaung in December 2012.[17][5]

Awards

  • 2010 Bookmarks – Individual and Team Publisher Awards – Best Editorial Team – Daily Maverick[5]
  • 2011 Bookmarks – Product Awards – Email Marketing – Email Publication – Silver – First Thing Newsletter – Daily Maverick[43]
  • 2011 Bookmarks – Craft Awards – Editorial (Media – News, Magazines, Radio and TV Stations/Networks) – Silver – Daily Maverick[43]
  • 2011 Bookmarks – Individual and Team Awards – Best Digital Editorial Individual – Stephen Grootes – Daily Maverick[43]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Core Awards – Websites/Microsites/Mobisites – Publisher Sites (Mass Appeal) > R5m Turnover – Bronze – Daily Maverick and iMaverick[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Core Awards – Email Marketing – Email Publication – Silver – First Thing Newsletter – Daily Maverick[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Core Awards – Applications and Tools – Tablet Publication – Bronze – iMaverick[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Core Awards – Integrated / Mixed Media – Multi-platform Publisher – Bronze – First Thing Newsletter, Daily Maverick and iMaverickDaily Maverick[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Craft Awards – Editorial (Media – News, Magazines, Radio and TV Stations/Networks) – Silver – First Thing Newsletter, Daily Maverick and iMaverickDaily Maverick[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Individual and Team Awards – The Digital Maverick – Branko Brkic[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Individual and Team Awards – Best Digital Editorial Individual – Branko Brkic – Daily Maverick and iMaverick[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Individual and Team Awards – Best Youngster – Sipho Hlongwane – Daily Maverick[35]
  • 2012 Bookmarks – Special Honours Awards – Best Publishing House – Daily Maverick and iMaverick[35]
  • 2012 SAB Sports Media Awards – New Media – Social Media Correspondent of the Year – Styli Charalambous – Daily Maverick[5]
  • 2012 Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism – Runner-up – Greg Marinovich – Daily Maverick[5]
  • 2013 Vodacom National Journalist of the Year Online winner – Greg Marinovich – Daily Maverick[5]
  • 2013 Bookmarks – Craft Awards – Editorial (Media – News, Magazines, Radio and TV Stations/Networks) – Silver - Daily Maverick[47]
  • 2013 Bookmarks – Individual and Team Awards – Best Digital Editorial Individual – Rebecca Davis – Daily Maverick[47]