Page 34

Yearbook Jan 2019

32 yearbook 2019 MaGaZINES SOUTH AFRICA The Colour Issue: Magazines in black and white That South Africa’s magazine sector has issues to deal with is clear, but clearly the black and white issue of race is not one of them, LUCINDA JORDAAN reckons. f 2017 can be marked as the year Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement went global (thanks to Alyssa Milano), 2018 was undoubtedly the year of the black woman. Speaking truth to power seemed to be the mantra, with women – particularly black women – dominating the global stage in every aspect, from athletics to politics. And, of course, they could also be found on the cover of practically every prominent magazine. This past December, for instance, South Sudanese model Adut Kech graced the cover of British Vogue, now under the editorship of Ghanaian-born Edward Enninful. September was the month that the number of black actresses, singers and models on the cover of traditionally white magazines was highlighted in the media: American Vogue’s famous issue that month featured Beyoncé, while singer and actress Rihanna graced the British version, Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross did the same for Elle Canada; Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o for Porter magazine and actresses Zendaya and Tiffany Haddish graced the covers of Marie Claire and Glamour respectively. The impact of these covers comes at a time when the print magazine sector is fighting the rise of digital, rightwing movements, which are growing louder, and economies are strained. As Professor Glenda Daniels of Wits University’s Media Centre points out: “We are living in an increasing feminist era where especially young women are challenging the status quo – so unless women’s magazines cater for this new militancy against sexism and patriarchal culture they won’t service, attract and reach young women in this era of #MeToo, #HearMeToo and #TotalShutDown.” Outdated model Interestingly, in South Africa, where media transformation has long been a conversation point, racial profiling appears to be the magazine sector’s least pressing concern. “I don’t think niche titles ever had the divisiveness of mainstream women’s titles, but even so the model of ‘black’ versus ‘white’ magazines is outdated,” notes Minette Ferreira, general manager: Media24 Lifestyle. “Content and brands appeal to a market based on their interests, life experience, needs and goals.” Circulation figures bear this out almost across the board, with most consumer titles at all major media houses reporting a stronger black than white readership, regardless of positioning. While certain titles such as MOVE!, Kuier, Destiny, and DRUM appeal to specific target markets – and others such as GQ and Glamour have black editors – it’s fair to say I Interestingly, in South Africa, where media transformation has long been a conversation point, racial profiling appears to be the magazine sector’s least pressing concern


Yearbook Jan 2019
To see the actual publication please follow the link above