The biggest Anglophone newsprint publication in South Africa, the Independent News & Media (INM) has gone defunct after selling its outfit in the country to Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium, a partnership between local investors who have seventy joint mass corporations in the country.
Before the pawns make a move to the upcoming newspaper owner, both the country’s Competition Commission and INM trustee base will have to give the green light to the 2-billion Rupee change of hands.
“The transaction is subject to finalization approvals and final agreement being signed by both parties.” This was the statement from the INM side of the bargain.
INM and the World Subsidiaries
The Independent newspaper is one of the worldwide news multinationals that has recently gone under liquidation with a net debt worth $559.7. This tipping of the fiscal scales has seen the United Kingdom’s paper dispense of its unit, in that country, even as it did in the Indian subcontinent, and certain sectional publications in the Irish unit.
Prior to its closure, Independent News & Media in South Africa was rolling off the press the public, Daily Voice, from its headquarters in Cape Town.
Like most huge news empires, INM vaunted an eclectic mixture of national, as well as, sectional newlines, some of them tabloid. The major publications included the Star and its sister Saturday Star. In the provinces, there are the Daily News, Sunday Tribune and the Post.
INM had also crossed the language barrier by favoring the native languages of the country, with the primary newspaper for Zulu being Isolezwe.
Still, as the news echelon of the company goes under new management, the magazine part of the same has largely stayed buoyant, with Glamour remaining the number two copy among fashion journals in Africa’s largest economy. The magazines have stayed afloat for being semi-autonomous in their management.
Iqbar Surve, who is an investor in the Sekunjalo amalgamation, and a former physician to Madiba, has already given an exposé of how the company is readying itself for transforming the former INM.
One of the key issues that they seek to address is that of independence of press as governs editorials. Surve, an Africa National Congress (ANC) affiliate, vows that he will still keep the integrity of the publication in the face of his involvement with the ruling outfit in South Africa.
Hitherto, editorial freedom of the INM has suffered a blow from the fact that instead of a board at the helm, all sectional publications enjoyed semi-independent editorial prerogatives which many saw as capable of gagging.
Now, Surve and his team are keen on establishing an umbrella board to formulate unilateral decisions along the freedom-of-the-press treatise.