- About us
About Grocott's Mail newspaper
Grocott’s Mail is the oldest independent newspaper in South Africa. The first edition hit the streets on 11 May 1870 as a free advertising sheet. Grocott's Mail now comes out on Tuesday and Fridays and has a cover price of R5. The citizens of Grahamstown have made it the largest-selling newspaper in the town (6 400 copies per week), and continue to support it through local advertising.
With regards to ownership and management, Grocott's Mail has undergone many changes in its long history (read a detailed history of Grocott's Mail here). In 2003, Rhodes University bought the paper to set up the David Rabkin Project for Experiential Journalism Training. Rhodes University is the sole shareholder of this Limited Liability company and any profits made go to student bursaries at the university.
The broad objective of the initiative is to ensure the growth and vibrancy of Grocott’s Mail and to use it as a vehicle for the teaching experience in the Journalism & Media Studies Department at Rhodes.
Vision: To produce viable and high-quality independent media that serve the community of Grahamstown as well as the training interests of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University.
Mission: To simultaneously serve the community and to develop new ways in which journalism is taught at university level in South Africa.
About Grocott's Mail Online
Grocott's Mail Online includes the majority of content that is published in the print edition of Grocott's Mail, as well as web-exclusive content including multimedia offerings. It was launched as the Grocott's Mail Digital Edition in 2006, when it was run by staff and students in the New Media Lab at Rhodes University's School of Journalism & Media Studies.
Grocott's Mail Online in its current form was launched in July 2009. It is part of a Knight Foundation-funded project, Iindaba Ziyafika ("The news is coming"), the core proposition of which is that information and communication technology can enlarge the public sphere by providing the tools that encourage participation and facilitate that participation.
Grocott's Mail Online endeavours to do this by - amongst other initiatives - providing and promoting a platform for citizen journalism. Our MyStory section is well-populated with stories written and photographed by citizen journalists; many of these stories appear in the print edition as well. We run training courses in the Grocott's Mail Citizen Journalism Newsroom to equip local citizens with knowledge and skills that help to make them more effective citizen journalists.
Grocott's Mail Online was awarded first place in the 2009 SABC Highway Africa New Media Awards in the corporate category. The awards are given in recognition of "creative and appropriate adaptation of technologies within the continent to compete effectively in the wider environment."