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Balancing profit, people and our planet

Media24 recognises that sustainable development is a global imperative that results in opportunities, as well as risks for business. As a leading media company, Media24 aims to position itself to meet such challenges.

As Media24 expands its business, it aims to contribute to the communities in which it operates, develop its own people, contribute to general economic prosperity, and minimise its impact on the environment.

In formulating this policy, areas in which the group can make a meaningful contribution to sustainable development in the markets in which it operates, were analysed, facilitating the integration of these aspects into day-to-day operations and the formulation of strategy.

Extract from Media24 sustainable development policy

Media24 connects people and aims to play a significant role in the economic development of the market in which it operates. Media24 is one of the country’s most empowered media companies following the introduction of its broad-based black economic empowerment scheme. The company has a level 3 BEE status and scored full points on the ownership, socio-economic development and enterprise development elements on its BEE scorecard.

One of the group’s most important contributions to South Africa has been in the field of education. We contribute to improving literacy levels through our newspapers, magazines and schoolbooks (read here for more details).

Employee forums in each of our business units work with management to engage and motivate staff, drive transformation and invest in the communities in which we operate.

As we expand our operations, our focus will remain on sustainable development. In line with our policy we want to contribute to the communities in which we operate, develop our own people, contribute to economic prosperity at national and individual level, and minimise our impact on the environment.

Value added statement

for the year ended 31 March 2014

  31 March 2014
R’m
  31 March 2014
R’m
 
Revenue 8 171   7 790  
Cost of generating revenue 4 536   4 102  
Value added 3 635   3 688  
Income from investments 42   66  
Wealth created 3 677   3 754  
Value distribution:        
Employees        
Salaries, wages and benefits 2 036   1 971  
Providers of capital 223   274  
Finance cost 81   136  
Dividends paid 142   138  
Governments        
Total tax paid 1 106   1 088  
Reinvested in the group 312   421  
Depreciation and amortisation 319   313  
Other capital items (139)   59  
Retained earnings 132   49  
  3 677   3 754  

  Distribution of wealth

Strategy

Amidst the ongoing changes in the media landscape, our aim is to continue reshaping Media24 to remain relevant and useful to consumers and clients and to unlock value for our shareholders.

Strategic focus

We create innovative multi-platform media products and services to enrich the lives of our customers around the world by informing, educating, entertaining and connecting them through our print media, digital and ecommerce platforms. We also contribute to the communities in which we operate. To retain our competitive advantage, we aim to attract and retain the best talent – we believe passionate, motivated staff forms the core of what we do at Media24. All these factors contribute to building a sustainable business geared towards the future.

How we do this:

Stakeholder engagement

Media24 has a range of stakeholder groups that differ by region. We deal with our stakeholders through:

regular interaction with customers on social media platforms with significant reach (eg Facebook and Twitter), and feedback through focus groups, email, customer service call centres and other suitable channels
interaction with readers/users and the community, as well as the cultural community through various hosted or sponsored cultural events
employee newsletters, surveys, management briefings and intranet sites
one-on-one meetings with suppliers, business partners and opinion formers
participation in industry groups to develop relevant shared practices
participation in regulatory bodies
engagement with our shareholders
public policy engagement with regulators where relevant, and
regular engagement with local communities, principally through our corporate citizenship activities.

Key aspects of our interaction with stakeholders are tabulated below.

Industry Regulators Employees Customers
Media24, through its news, magazine and book divisions, is a member of various industry bodies, locally and internationally. In South Africa these include Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA), the Audit Bureau of Circulations of South Africa (ABC), the South African Advertising Research Foundation (Saarf), the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef), the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) and the South African Publishers Association (Pasa). Paarl Media is a member of the Print Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Pifsa) and attends international industry events to remain abreast of developments. Paarl Media facilitates regular audits of its operations (for example Forest Stewardship Council) to ensure global standards are maintained. Print media content is self-regulated by way of the press code and the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA). Media24 abides by the codes and rulings of these regulatory bodies. We continue to invest in leadership development and training. This includes multimedia training for journalists and weekly knowledge-sharing sessions on media-related topics. A wellness programme was introduced last year to boost productivity and resilience of employees. Our staff engagement levels are surveyed annually and remained encouragingly high, despite tough economic conditions, further staff cutbacks and even more stringent cost management. All divisions are active on social media platforms. Editorial teams use Facebook and Twitter as interactive discussion platforms to engage with audiences on topical issues, share and promote content from their latest print and digital offerings and to test new ideas. Business units conduct client satisfaction surveys with, for example, advertising agencies, print customers and their digital audiences. This is done through a variety of channels, including customer service call centres and digital surveys to determine net promoter score ratings.