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The Zululand Observer(ZO), News and Communication Leaders in Zululand, is a newspaper publishing house in theKwa-Zulu Natalarea. In all their investments, the company’s pride is to have made all their purchases locally and stayed true to their slogan of producing born and bred Zululand publications. Under the Zululand Observer there are eight audited publications which are: Zululand Observer Weekend edition, Zululand Observer Monday edition, Bay Watch, Umlozi Wezindaba, eShowe Watch, North Watch, Eastern Watch and Agri Watch.
The Zululand Observer began in 1969 to date by the founder of the company Regina Anthony. The company was established in Empageni and grew to become the largest distributor in the surrounding areas from the Tugela River to Pongola. Regina is still working in the company and has increased its branches with the addition of eight audited publications .
STAFFING AND OWNERSHIP
Regina Anthony founded the Zululand Observer in 1969. Anthony still maintains her position as the Managing Director of the company. Gavin Anthony, the Manager of Darwain Printing Works also takes the position of Marketing Director in Zululand publications. The staff group currently include workers in the position of: Editor, HR and Assistant to Management, Legal Consultant, Editor for Umlozi Wezindaba, Production Manager, Classified Sales Manager, Advertising Manager and Financial Manager and Admin Head .
The geographical distribution of theZululand Observer newspaper extends from Stanger in the south to Pongola in the north, while inland it incorporates Ulundi, eShowe, Vryheid and Melmoth . It therefore provides news and information to the population of Richards Bay and most of Kwazulu-Natal. The paper is the only bi-weekly newspaper and focuses on Zululand itself, and covers all aspects of the area. According to it’s website statistics, it has an audited print order averaging 20 500 (readership 92 250) on a Thursday and 14 500 (readership 62 500) on a Monday .
Regina Anthony, founder and current managing director of the Company, is well known in the community and therefore results in Zululand Observer easily gaining credence and popularity with all in the area . The niche market of ZO is especially concerned with having direct relativity to its audience, as communities are all closely knit and allied, and share interest in general activities such as sport, farming, etc. It also includes reporters and journalists who are closely involved with the community. Town and villages of Zululand are not large, therefore easily providing coverage of the areas through numerous reporters, many of whom are from Zululand, themselves .
According to most recent circulation figures provided by ABC, ZO is placed in sixth positionwith a figure of 16335 . The official website also states that readership growth has increased with an impressive 70% during the past five years .
Readership surveys show that Zululand Observer’s print medium forms an important part in aiming to improve the community for all . But since we are in the Information Age, the internetis slowly taking over the roles of traditional media. Zululand Observer utilizes the internet and allows an international audience to access its online website. The official Zululand Observer website, found at www.zululandobserver.co.za,includes all aspects of its printed version, such as, daily headlines and news, articles and photographs published in ZO newspaper, the classifieds section, letters, and even additional info like contact details, and the company’s vision and mission statement, awards etc. Zululand Observer Archivescan also be accessed through the website, wherein all articles published in the newspaper can be found.
Some of Zululand Observer competition includes the Fever Publication stable —which encompasses four main weekly community papers distributed throughout the province . East Griqualand fever, South Coast Fever, Upper Coast Fever, and Zululand Fever being the most popular within the province . This publication has divided its readership to relate to these different newspapers in different areas, which can be somewhat detrimental to the readership of Zululand Observer.
Some other major publications in Kwazulu-Natal that serve as competitors for the Zululand Observer is as follows: The Illanga Newspaper, The Natal Witness, Views and all other Kwazulu-Natal publications falling under the partnership of Caxton&CTP. The Caxton community newspaper divisions and other newspapers falling under it, are either company owned or major partnerships, and total up to 120 publications (the Zululand Observer also being one of these) .
In the late 1990s, the Zululand Observer received the award of ‘The most improved newspaper in the Caxton group’ from the Caxton & CTP group. 
The B-BBEE Status 2009/2010 was awarded to the Zululand Observer in the category of B-BBEE Contributor Level 2 by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). Being awarded in this category gives the clients of Zululand Observer a procurement recognition level of 125%. By being a Value Adding Company, to their clients, their procurement recognition increases to 156.25%.
4. Interview via email with: Jenny Newcombe (former sub-editor of Zululand Observer 1996-1999)
1. Zululand Observer Website. Retrieved from:http://www.zululandobserver.co.za/Pages/About%20us.html
2. Zululand Observer Website. Retrieved from:http://zululandobserver.co.za/Pages/Contact.html
3. Zululand Observer Website. Retrieved from: http://www.zululandobserver.co.za/Pages/Infozo.html
5. Media Update. Retrieved from: http://www.zululandobserver.co.za/Pages/Infozo.html
6. Zululand Observer Website. Retrieved from: http://www.zululandobserver.co.za/Pages/Infozo.html
7. Fever Online Website. Retrieved from: http://www.feveronline.co.za/
8. All Newspapers Website. Retrieved from: http://www.allnewspapers.com/African_Media/South_Africa/Kwazulu-Natal/Newspapers/index.html
9. Caxton & CTP Website.Retrieved from: http://www.caxton.co.za/pages/pub_CommNews.htm
Latest page update: made by Zandaley
, Oct 19 2012, 12:10 AM EDT
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