'The trouble did rush on us': M&G editor on paper's dire financial situation

In a tweet posted on 27 March, Mail & Guardian editor Khadija Patel appealed for the public to help out by subscribing to the paper.

Mail and Guardian. Picture: @mailandguardian/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Mail and Guardian, one of South Africa's most well-known media publications, is - like many other businesses around the world - facing uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The paper said its advertisers, who contribute about 70% to their revenue, had cancelled their campaigns and that it was unlikely to be able to pay April salaries.

In a tweet posted on 27 March, Mail and Guardian Editor Khadija Patel appealed for the public to help out by subscribing to the paper.

Speaking to 702's Eusebius McKaiser, Patel said they were in a significant amount of trouble.

"The trouble did really rush on us, at the beginning of March we were doing well and there was quiet optimism in the organisation, and suddenly by mid-March advertisers cancelled campaigns en masse.

"We had some idea of trouble looming, we understood that the lockdown would be inevitable at some point, we didn't think it would be this immediately, so it did shock us.

"Our biggest cost is the payroll of actually running the newsroom."

Listen to the audio below for more.