About Grocott's Mail
Visit the Grocott's Mail web site: www.grocotts.co.za
Grocott’s Mail is the oldest surviving independent newspaper in South Africa. Founded in 1870 (but incorporating the Grahamstown Journal which was founded in 1831), the bi-weekly has survived apartheid, fast changing technology and a weak Eastern Cape economy and is today the only newspaper that is published in Grahamstown, home city of Rhodes University.
Grocott’s Mail was acquired by a Rhodes University-linked company in 2003. Named in honour of a former journalist, the company is known as the David Rabkin Project for Experimental Journalism. As the new owners, Rhodes is determined that it remains a community paper with readers and advertisers across town, township, campus and countryside. They are determined that the newspaper does not become a university or student mouthpiece and have put in place mechanisms to prevent this from happening.
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 School of Journalism & Media Studies at Rhodes. Rhodes journalism students, working under supervision, will be able to offer top quality stories, photographs and designs to readers. Media economics students should also be able to engage in close-up study of the paper as a live media business laboratory while cultural studies students may be able to research real audiences. Students studying online publishing should also be able to get involved in building the publication's website.
While the initiative is new (perhaps the only one in Africa), it has been done elsewhere in the world, and at the world's oldest journalism school in Columbia, Missouri, in the United States where a similar venture has been published for the last 90 years.
The new owners are therefore determined that the mentoring and instruction go hand in hand with the publication of a serious, committed, caring and profitable Grocott’s Mail.