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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Rightist to 'Brightest'? The Strange Tale of South Africa's Citizen
Author:Jones, AdamISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:media history
Politics and Government
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637530
Abstract:South Africa's newspaper 'The Citizen' was founded in 1977 as a State propaganda tool and, strongly pro-Nationalist throughout the late apartheid era, it has trod a cautious path ever since its origins were unveiled in the Info-Scandal of 1978. This 'most notorious of the apartheid-era newspapers' secured a surprisingly strong, multiracial readership, and garnered a degree of professional credibility. The paper has used both these bedrock attributes to ride out the transition to majority rule. It has emerged in perhaps the most advantageous position of any South African English daily. This article, based in part on in-depth interviews with 'Citizen' staff conducted between March and June 1995, explores the idiosyncratic evolution of this press institution and the factors that allowed it to survive and even flourish in the wake of the Info Scandal. Continuities and transformations in the paper's functioning since the transition began are also considered. The article concludes by sketching a possible scenario for the paper's future in the new South Africa. Notes, ref., sum.