A newly-launched Mpumalanga news site owned by a black-owned media company will attempt to target ‘online information consumers’, the company said this week.

MfisoMEDIA launched the 013NEWS site just 30 days ago and announced the site will only focus on Mpumalanga in order “to cover a market that is neglected or overlooked”, the company’s managing director Mpumelelo Mashifane said on Friday.

“We wanted to develop platforms of the future that would appeal to a sophisticated market of information consumers,” he said.

“In short, we wanted to do something different,” said Mashifane.

He said at first they considered print news but seeing the costs involved in printing and distributing newspaper copies they began to see online “was the natural direction to take”.

“We understand there are a lot of news sites available on the internet. However we’re a young and vibrant company that has been founded on the prescripts of breaking boundaries and cutting-edge technology.

“We also see it as an over-crowded market but we have realised the Mpumalanga market, particularly LSM 6-10 has been neglected by a variety of local media outlets, so we are trying to step in and say, ‘we are here for you.’

“Inherent also in our target market is the youth which research shows are increasingly consuming news and current affairs with the rise of the smartphones and social media.

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“As you would have noticed we covered two or three Lily Mine stories and we indicated in them that we were siding with the victims of the collapse of the mine.

“We also did some crime stories, where we were using police to lead in getting justice served for the victims of those crime but we are still young and politically we want to remain independent, that’s why we say we are uncensored. We are uncensored by corporate, government and by any political group. We are just going to report reality, we will not respond to pressure,” Mashifane said.

“If we must be censored by anybody, that person must be a victim of power. People will see, we have arrived,” said Mashifane, who is currently the 013NEWS publisher.

He said his next task now is to continue to develop the site with his team of web designers, sub-editors and reporters in order to make it more competitive and create a network of news agents across the Mpumalanga province.

“We are not in a hurry, we are building something very big therefore our thoughts are not with making money, difficult as it is, but to build and build and build.

“We will continue to receive with humble ears the great feedback and suggestions we are getting from our readers.

“We will be investing heavily in our infrastructure and I must say as young as we are, we are honestly humbled by the great feedback and suggestions from our readers, seriously humbled. Though we understand this will be hard in terms of the costs of running the idea but our main mission is to be the number one source of news in Mpumalanga, that’s what we’re specifically about,” he said.

“These two platforms are only the beginning,” Mashifane said. In the not so distant future we are going to surprise the people of Mpumalanga again.”

To find out more about MfisoMEDIA you can visit www.mfiso.co.za

(edited by ZK)

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