The Citizen is a tabloid-style newspaper distributed nationally in South Africa. While its core readership is mainly in Gauteng, the economic powerhouse of the country, it also distributes to surrounding provinces such as Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West. It also publishes a special KwaZulu Natal edition daily.
In 1998, The Citizen was acquired by CTP/Caxton. Its core readership is black middle-class men.
The paper was founded in 1976 during the apartheid era by Louis Luyt at which time it was the only major English-language newspaper favourable to the ruling National Party. In 1978, during the Muldergate Scandal, it was revealed that the money to establish and finance the newspaper had come from a secret slush fund of the Department of Information, and ultimately from the Department of Defence.
In 1998 it was bought by Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited, which is recognised as one of the largest publishers and printers of books, magazines, newspapers and commercial print in South Africa. The company is involved in various fields of publishing and printing such as newspapers, magazines, commercial print, book printing, stationery, packaging and labels, as well as manufacturing ink for web presses.
In 2012, Eureka Zandberg took over from Greg Stewart as the publisher of The Citizen. Along with Editor Martin Williams, she brought in renowned design guru Dr. Mario Garcia to give the newspaper a complete revamp. In Dr. Garcia's words, "In South Africa, The Citizen decided to face those challenges and seize the opportunities, while sending a message to its devoted readers: you have changed, and so have we." The new edition hit the streets on 1 August 2013.
Zandberg told South African media blogsite GrubStreet that while The Citizen had makeovers before, it was never to the extent of this one: "If you put The Citizen next to other papers, it felt tired. We thought that we owed our readers a face lift, a better product and a better experience."
In addition to a revamp of the physical print edition, The Citizen's digital evolution is also underway. The same day the new paper look was revealed, The Citizen's website went live, with a fresh look and more responsive design adaptable to mobile, tablet and desktop. Going forward The Citizen plans to offer more mobile and tablet options.
On 7 October, The Citizen newspaper announced that Editor Martin Williams would be stepping down. Williams, who had been with The Citizen for 19 years, and has contributed to its many successes over the years, retired at the end of October 2013.
His replacement was named as Steve Motale, who at the time was the executive editor of Pretoria News. Motale started off as a reporter at The Citizen in 2002, later becoming political editor and then editor of Citizen Metro.
The sport-focused weekly paper formerly known as the Super Saturday Citizen is published every Saturday. After the revamp under Dr. Garcia it has now been titled simply Saturday Citizen.
- City (Mon-Sat) – Lifestyle and entertainment supplement
- Racing Express (Mon – Sat) – horse racing supplement
- Motoring (Wed) – Motoring and local motorsport supplement
- Hammer & Gavel (Thurs) – auctions supplement
- Gaming (Wed)- gaming supplement
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