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Saturday, September 19, 2020
16.1 C

    Celebrating 200 editions!

    The Bulletin will continue to be YOUR Community paper!

    Out of a humble idea a giant was born. September 2014 saw the first steps of the Bulletin. The steps were small but determined and pointed in one direction only; to become the leading source of news in Govan Mbeki Municipality.
    Today, on our 200th edition celebrations we can proudly say that 25 479 followers on Facebook seem to think so as well.
    The journey would not have been possible without the extraordinary support that we received from you, our readers and supporters. The Bulletin can proudly be called a community newspaper! Thank you to each and every one that supported us over the past 4 years.
    When the Bulletin issued its first edition it was bold steps in a saturated market. Although difficult and facing a number of challenges, the persistence paid off.
    As the Bulletin continued to survive it became clear that penetrating the market would not be plain sailing. Staff were increased slightly to alleviate the workload but that also did not bring about the results needed for expansion and growth.
    The Bulletin’s financial situation did not improve to a point of self-sustainability and needed a desperate new approach to sales.
    The pressure of running a newspaper started to show in the decisions made. By mid-2017 the Bulletin reached an all-time low in all aspects of its existence.
    It was crunch time. All indications were that it should close down!
    It was time for a rethink on how to run the Bulletin. We cut down on the printed copies from 21 000 to 11 000 to start with. Home distributions were stopped. The Newspaper had to be stabilised at 16 pages. And then the big move! A total restructuring of the Bulletin followed in August 2017, this included a staff restructuring. This total reorganisation, however, was instrumental in establishing the Bulletin as a household name in GMM.
    A new editor was appointed and a more aggressive and bolder way of bringing the news was introduced. It worked! The Bulletin is now bringing the news to our readers on various platforms just as you would want it. Firstly there will always be the printed paper, which is the backbone of our paper. Secondly, the Bulletin utilises the Facebook platform extensively as well as our web page. Thirdly we introduced Instagram into our platforms. The Bulletin has a twitter account but is not really active yet, it will follow in the New Year.
    Facebook has become one of our major successes over the past year. Our Facebook page could only muster up 4 386 “likes” over the first three years of its existence. This had to change! Our Facebook approach had to change. While the printed paper is only a weekly paper, Facebook is immediate, quick and on everybody’s phone.
    As our reporting skills grew, so did our Facebook. Our readers started to see more and more of the Bulletin with accurate and sometimes very bold reporting. Over the past 14 months, our Facebook page grew with 20 551 “Likes”. It is simply amazing.
    The Bulletin Instagram account is a new addition that started nearly two months ago and it already has a following of 358 people.
    This phenomenal growth could not have been possible if it wasn’t for the support of our readers. Thank you to everyone.
    With an initial staff of 6 not much has changed. Today the Bulletin has 6 full-time staff members and two part-time staff. We also make use of some freelance writers as well.
    Our staff consists of:
    Sales: Mariette Prinsloo and Lizette Groenewald. Finances are handled by Elmarie van Huyssteen. Graphic design is done by Kerry Bird. Ané Prinsloo is our youngest addition as a reporter and our editor is Encee van Huyssteen.
    Aart Reedijk (Ex Founding member) is still writing part-time for the Bulletin and Jan Ferreira writes for our sports section.
    There were some good milestones over the past year.
    The Bulletin reported about the poor conditions in Evander Hospital when a young man was hospitalised with a broken back.
    The story of Calvin, the dog, that was lost for a week and how the community tried to find him after his owner, Wouter and his mom were involved in a car accident on the N17.
    We told the story of Wouter and his recovery and we arranged that he could meet all the people that helped save his life. We even arranged for a helicopter flight on the day he was released from the hospital.
    The Bulletin broke the stories of maltreatment of animals by the Highveld SPCA although this was highly controversial.
    The eMbalenhle strike that saw the burning of the eMba Mall was reported on extensively and very boldly.
    We did not just receive support but also gave a lot of support. The Bulletin became the media partners for a number of events such as the local rally as well as the recent Fightstar event. During the runup to the Fightstar36 event at Graceland, a staggering R144 000 worth of adverting costs were carried by the Bulletin.
    Next week we will be launching our annual Box project and have some excited partners. Please watch this space!
    As we continue in our commitment to bring you news that is Accurate, Original and First, The Bulletin would like to extend our thanks to our readers and supporters, especially those supporters that believed in us and would help at the drop of a hat.
    The Bulletin will continue to be YOUR Community paper!

    Celebrating 200 editions!