The New Age newspaper is a South African national daily newspaper, owned and operated by TNA Media (Pty) Ltd. TNA Media was established in June 2010 and the first publication of The New Age was on 6 December 2010.

Although when the paper was launched, the owners said that The New Age would specifically present a positive image of the South African ruling political party, the African National Congress (ANC),[2] the paper's current stated goal is to focus on the positive side of news, yet be critically constructive.[3]

The newspaper covers news from South Africa's nine provinces, along with national events, op-ed columns, politics, Africa and international news, sports, business, entertainment, lifestyle, science and technology. It costs R3.50.

The paper is printed in 24–32 full-colour pages in broadsheet format. It is printed in three separate locations.

Editorship

Vuyo Mvoko was the newspaper's first editor, but he and five senior staff members resigned on 19 October 2010, the day before the first edition's publication.[4] The second editor, Henry Jeffreys, was appointed on 1 December 2010.[5] and left the paper again in May 2011.[6] He was immediately replaced by Ryland Fisher, who in turn was replaced in August 2012 by the current editor Moegsien Williams.[7]

Circulation and readership

Currently, The New Age does not publish circulation figures, and its publication figures are not audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa,[7] as most other South African newspapers are.

The newspaper's own web site claims to have a daily print run of over 100,000 copies,[8] although there have been accusations that up to 50,000 copies are returned to be pulped daily.[9] Some 50,000 copies are sold on bulk subscription to South African parastatals.

According to the South African Audience Research Foundation's official All Media Products Survey (AMPS), The New Age had a readership of about 39,000 in January–December 2011, about 87,000 in July–June 2011/2012,[10] and about 107 000 in January–December 2012.[2]

Impartiality controversy

The Gupta family owns TNA Media, which owns The New Age.[2] There has been some controversy about the closeness of members of the Gupta family to the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, and over perceived resultant lack of impartiality in its reporting on the president and the ruling ANC Party.[2]

In October 2012 the editorial cartoonist, Jeremy Nell (AKA JERM), was fired for editorial cartoons that contained "political judgements or statements". Nell's cartoons frequently criticised the ANC and President Zuma.[2]

"[T]he NEC expressed its utmost disgust at the arrogance, disrespect and reckless journalism displayed by the New Age Newspaper (18, 19 March 2016), ANN7 News Channel (16–18 March 2016) and representatives of the Gupta-family. They have characterized the ANC as a group of factions for and against President Zuma."

- Gwede Mantashe, ANC secretary general[15]

In January 2013 it became known that public corporations (such as Transnet (transport), Telkom (telecoms) and Eskom (electricity)) had funded "New Age Business Breakfasts" – platforms for prominent individuals – for millions of Rands. In addition, the national broadcaster (SABC) broadcast the events at no cost.[2] The opposition leader Helen Zille subsequently withdrew from a scheduled briefing at one of these breakfasts, which The New Age reported on, casting her in an unfavourable light. Complaints to the Press Ombudsman by the Democratic Alliance opposition party resulted in a front-page apology to Zille and the Democratic Alliance on 31 May 2013 "for not asking them for comment on several important issues contained in two stories that we published earlier this year, and for headlines in one story that unjustifiably made her out to be a liar and a hypocrite".[2][2]

In March 2016 The New Age, along with the Gupta owned ANN7, was strongly criticised by the African National Congress (ANC) for its coverage of President Jacob Zuma's relationship with the Gupta family and the ensuing political controversy around the issue. The newspaper appologised for its coverage shortly after the ANC's criticism was stated.[18]

The international news broadcaster Al Jazeera English has alleged that Zuma's close relationship with the Guptas has "translated into friendly coverage in the outlets they own,"[19] specifically the twenty-four hour news channel ANN7 and The New Age.

Distribution areas

Distribution
2013
Eastern CapeY
Free StateY
GautengY
Kwa-Zulu NatalY
LimpopoY
MpumalangaY
North WestY
Northern CapeY
Western CapeY

Readership figures

Estimated Readership[20][21]
AIR
Jan 2012 - Dec 2012107 000
Jul 2011 - Jun 201287 000