Mail & Guardian

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The Mail & Guardian
Mail & Guardian.gif
Type Newspaper, online, kindle, iPad, digital, mobi
Format Broadsheet, tablet, e-reader, online, android
Owner(s) M&G Media Ltd
Founded 1985
Headquarters Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Circulation 45 000
Official website

The Mail & Guardian is a South African weekly newspaper, published by M&G Media in Johannesburg, South Africa. It focuses on political analysis, investigative reporting, Southern African news, local arts, music and popular culture.


The paper was initially started as an alternative newspaper by a group of journalists in 1985 after the closures of the two leading liberal newspapers, The Rand Daily Mail and Sunday Express. It was originally known as the Weekly Mail, as the paper did not have enough money to publish daily. Weekly Mail was one of the first newspapers to use Apple Mac desktop publishing.

The Weekly Mail criticised the government and its apartheid policies, which led to the paper's suspension in 1988 by then State President P. W. Botha. The paper was renamed the Weekly Mail & Guardian from 30 July 1993. In 1994 the Mail & Guardian Online was launched in conjunction with the predominantly Afrikaner-owned Media24, becoming the first internet news publication in Africa. The London-based Guardian Media Group (GMG), publishers of The Guardian, became the majority shareholder of the print edition in 1995, and the name was changed to Mail & Guardian. In 2002, GMG reduced its shareholding to 10%, selling an 87.5% majority share in the newspaper to Newtrust Company Botswana Limited, owned by Zimbabwean publisher and entrepreneur Trevor Ncube. Having relocated to South Africa, Ncube also took over as CEO of the company.[1] In 2013 South African media owner Iqbal Survé suggested that Ncube was being funded by the Central Intelligence Agency.[2]

The newspaper's headquarters are in Rosebank, Johannesburg, with smaller bureaus in Durban and Cape Town. The editor of the Mail & Guardian is Angela Quintal, the editor-in-chief is former M&G Online editor Chris Roper and the CEO is Hoosain Karjieker.

The Mail & Guardian Online[edit]

In 1994, the Mail & Guardian Online was launched in conjunction with Media24 (a subsidiary of the Naspers group), becoming the first internet news publication in Africa. It has grown into its own daily news operation with a number of writers, multimedia producers, sub-editors and more. The editor is Chris Roper. It is run out of the Mail & Guardian offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The site focuses on local, international and African hard news, sport and business; publishing analytical reports from its print edition.

The site has a monthly readership of about 650 000 unique users and 5 100 000-page impressions,[3] from South Africa and around the world. It is one of South Africa's top five news sites.[citation needed]

The website began its life as the Electronic Mail & Guardian, which was initially an e-mail subscription service that allowed readers living outside South Africa's borders to receive Mail & Guardian newspaper stories hours before reaching the newspaper's subscribers. Soon after, the service expanded into a searchable online archive, published in partnership with Sangonet, the country's oldest internet service provider. A website was added, which in turn progressed from producing a weekly mirror of the printed newspaper to generating its own daily news.

The Mail & Guardian Online was jointly owned by internet service provider MWEB and publishing company M&G Media until MG Media purchased 100% of the operation in 2008.

The Mail & Guardian Online works closely with the newspaper, but has its own dedicated editorial staff to produce breaking news on a daily basis to complement the analytical, in-depth feature articles from the newspaper. It has national, international, Africa, business and sports news, as well as arts and entertainment coverage.

It has interactive news photo galleries, discussion forums and special reports on subjects such as Zimbabwe, HIV and controversial South African President Jacob Zuma. It also features regular cartoons by the South African political cartoonist Zapiro.

Voices of Africa[edit]

Initially a Mail & Guardian newspaper series, the Voices of Africa blog, launched online as a platform featuring African bloggers from around the world.[4]


  • 2012: CNN African Journalism award (2012)[5]
  • 2012: Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Award[6]
  • 2011: Vodacom journalist of the year award[7]
  • 2011: Bookmark awards[8]
  • 2010: Bookmark awards [9]
  • 2005: Webby Worthy honourable mention[citation needed]
  • 2001: voted the Mail & Guardian Online one of the world's top 175 websites[citation needed]
  • 1996: Missouri Medal for Distinguished Journalism[citation needed]
  • 1995: British IPD Best International Newspaper Award[citation needed]

Distribution areas[edit]

2008 2013
Eastern Cape Y Y
Free State Y Y
Gauteng Y Y
Kwa-Zulu Natal Y Y
Limpopo Y Y
Mpumalanga Y Y
North West Y Y
Northern Cape Y Y
Western Cape Y Y

Distribution figures[edit]

Net Sales
October - December 12 48 999
July - September 12 44 400
April - June 12 46 518
January - March 12 47 922

Readership figures[edit]

Estimated Readership[12][13]
January 12 - December 12 459 000
July 11 - June 12 425 000

See also[edit]



External links[edit]