Since lockdown, over 20 publications have pulled out of the South African media space and in a bid to protect their brand from heading in the same direction, News24, South Africa’s largest news platform, today announced the launch of a new digital subscription service that will be available to readers from August 8.

A subscription will cost R75 per month and will give readers access to additional investigative and in-depth journalism, as well as a range of informed opinions, analysis and views on news, politics, sport, business and lifestyle. A subscription will further include access to the best of Media24’s journalism from City Press, You, Drum and True Love magazines’ digital editions. Breaking news will, however, remain free to read.

“This is a historic moment for all of us at News24; something we’ve been dying to tell our more than 13-million unique users about since we started this journey to build a sustainable model for quality journalism almost two years ago,” says News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson.

In addition to in-depth journalism, News24’s subscription service will also introduce exciting new features, such as the ability to post comments, listen to articles, share subscriber-only articles with friends and choose from a bouquet of premium newsletters.

The move is in line with a growing international trend to charge for online news content as part of the industry’s evolution to a new, sustainable model.

“We have invested in journalism and grew our newsroom at a dark time for media companies and journalists. With the unfortunate decline of print publications, we need to ensure that we build a sustainable future for digital journalism to keep power to account and strengthen democracy,” says Basson. “I invite you to join us on this exciting journey towards creating a sustainable environment for quality digital journalism to flourish.”