Sixty years in the making: the history of Eikestadnuus (1950 - 2009)

Francois P. Verster


Community papers perform a unique role by informing, educating and rallying their demarcated piece of society, as well as reflecting the opinion of such communities and shaping them. In this respect Eikestadnuus (in Stellenbosch, Western Cape Province, South Africa) is no different to any other weekly newspaper. Yet, it has its own story. A belated birth, maturity after 30 years (when it came under new ownership) and now, 60 years behind it, it is still going from strength to strength. Eikestadnuus, as the news organ of a university town, and with different cultures, has to cater for a broad spectrum of readers. It had to adapt to opposing political systems, interpreting the nature of democracy differently as well and shifting ethical and practical priorities to the dictates of 14 editors to date. In this paper the above is discussed and Eikestadnuus is measured against the universal blueprint of a fully functional community newspaper.

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