The paper for the people turns 27

The GO! & Express will celebrate 27 years as a community newspaper in East London on Heritage Day, September 24.

Community newspapers such as the GO! & Express are a central part of news and information networks in towns and regions.

Studies show that where a community newspaper or TV news service closed, consumers reported the loss of local information had a negative affect on the town and reduced their sense of belonging to their community.

Throughout 2022, the GO! & Express has covered a multitude of stories that have introduced readers to local organisations, leaders, athletes, entrepreneurs, councillors, campaigns, events and causes. This coverage has contributed towards development in multiple local sectors.

On September 1, the paper’s front page story’s sub-headline read ‘GO! article helps company from closing after businessman steps in’, which was about a partnership struck up by local salon owner, Nicole Clayton and businessman Roderick Poovan. Clayton had been on the brink of closing her business but after the GO! covered her story, and Poovan read of her plight, he invested into her business and kept her doors open. Clayton said: “If it wasn’t for the GO!, keeping our jobs would not have been possible. Without the GO! our story would not have gotten out there.”

Through coverage of local schools, the GO! has created opportunities for the community to support them.

John Bisseker Secondary School teacher, Brenda Appollis, said: “Since the article [about JBSS], many people contributed to our restoration fund. Apart from the R15,000 we received from the class of 1981, we also received about R10,000 extra in the form of donations into our restoration fund, from as small as R100.

“We now have about R25000 in the fund.”

Appollis added: “GO! really positively impacts East London, because GO covers the small community stories that the Daily Dispatch would not cover, thereby motivating community members to excel in sport or outreach programmes.”

Vice chairperson of the local branch of the Motor Industry Worker’s Association (Miwa), Teresa Spenser-Higgs said: “GO!’s coverage of all things Miwa has been phenomenal in that it’s helped get our message out to consumers, helped us build brand awareness and showcased our social responsibility efforts.”

East London Central Local Football Association vice-chairperson Vuyo Zambodla, said as a result of GO!’s coverage of local soccer for women, the players were motivated to take the sport seriously and local businesses such as Premier Star Bakeries committed to another year of sponsoring development for girls soccer.

Zambodla said: “I met a principal of a school while I was in the bank. He came up to me and asked if his school could join us next year.

“I’m sure his awareness was through the media exposure in the GO!“

COMMUNITY AGENT: East London community-based newspaper The GO! & Express celebrates 27 years of local reporting on September 24. Picture: THEO JEPHTA


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

CAPTCHA ImageChange Image