Daily Dispatch slashes prices for lockdown

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Committed to telling the story of the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolds, the Daily Dispatch will continue to bring news to its print and online readers throughout the 21-day lockdown.

South African life will change drastically as from midnight on Thursday, but for the Dispatch it will be "business as usual".

Taking every precaution and using a work-from-home model where possible, the Dispatch will continue to produce daily news, for both print and online. 

Daily Dispatch general manager Ryan Megaw said the media had been listed as an essential enabling service and that the Dispatch would not be shutting down.

“We will continue to deliver newspapers to our subscribers and to all our normal retail outlets that will operate during this time,” said Megaw.

He said due to the measures taken by the state there would not be street vendors selling print copies of the newspaper over the 21-day lockdown period, but that the publication had introduced reduced subscription rates.

“We have special reduced subscription rates for both print and online, so that people who are staying home can have full access to the news without exposing themselves unnecessarily and violating the shutdown.

“We urge you to show your support for our mission of delivering independent and impartial journalism by taking out a subscription,” Megaw said.

Readers can now subscribe online at a reduced rate of R45 per month, with the first month costing just R10. There is also a three-month print subscription package available at a reduced rate of R495.

Six-month and 12-month online and print subscriptions are also available at reduced rates. All print subscribers will have access to all online content and e-editions of the paper.

Megaw said all news relating to the coronavirus would remain free on the DispatchLIVE website.

Dispatch editor Chiara Carter said: “Many people are anxious about what this pandemic means for them and their families, and the wild rumours and pseudoscience circulating on social media merely add to the confusion. The government has admirably taken the lead but the threat posed by Covid-19 ultimately has to be fought off by the public and accurate information is essential for this battle.

"Our team of journalists is committed, no matter the personal risk, to bringing the people of the Eastern Cape credible news from the villages, towns and cities in our province. This is all the more important at this critical time.”

She said the fact that the DispatchLIVE site had recorded more than a million page views in the past week was a sign of how much the Dispatch was needed and trusted. ​

Megaw said: “Accurate and trustworthy local news is a vital tool in the fight against the coronavirus. We have put measures in place to protect our team at this time, with as many people working remotely as possible. However, our journalists and delivery people will be at the greatest risk, so please spare a thought for them.”

To subscribe, call 043 702 2168/2103/2239 or email subscribe@dispatch.co.za.