One of South Africa’s pioneering websites, Creamer Media’s Polity.org.za, is being re-launched in June 2017 to give its readers easier access to more exclusive content and to strengthen the site’s research and referencing capabilities.
Kenneth Creamer, CEO of Creamer Media, says that in addition to providing daily news coverage of political, policy and economic news from South Africa and the rest of the African continent, the website has a rich collection of exclusive interviews with politicians, political analysts, legal practitioners and local and international authors, which will be more prominently featured on the new-look website.
Polity has interviewed the likes of actress and musician Marah Louw of Idols fame about her autobiography, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba detailing his vision for one of Africa’s wealthiest cities and South Africa’s former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela. Regular contributors include political analysts Raymond Suttner and Aubrey Matshiqi.
Polity Deputy Editor Sashnee Moodley says the editorial focus of the new look Polity will continue to be inspired by the site’s mission of “Deepening democracy through access to information”.
The redesigned website will continue to provide Polity’s 27 100 weekly readers with free access to legislation and policy documents. Polity also provides a platform for South African law firms to showcase their expertise through a Legal Briefs section, where top lawyers can publish their opinions and research.
Polity remains a free service, despite the relaunch introducing such new functionality as allowing readers who register to make use of a “Save Article” function, enabling readers to refer back to a list of stored articles, thereby enhancing the website’s role as a research and reference tool.
“Our readers will be able to save the articles that they are interested in, rather than printing them out, or storing them as PDFs, and over time, they will be able to develop their own personal online library of what they are most interested in,” Creamer explains.
The website, which will re-launch on June 20, will also introduce a Press Office section, which will give organisations, such as law firms, policy think tanks, academic research institutes and government research bodies, among others, the opportunity to consolidate a branded digital collection of their editorial coverage, press releases and advertorials on Polity.
“An online Press Office is an important part of most company’s digital marketing strategies. Press Offices offer great marketing and branding opportunities, as they package, all in one place, editorial references, key contact details, a company’s logo, the company’s social media links and customised colours and images which can be updated at any point in time,” says Creamer Media COO of Sales and Marketing Reinette Classen.
Press Offices, which have already proved highly successful on Creamer Media’s Engineering News and Mining Weekly websites, will feature prominently on the main navigation of the Polity website. Press Offices will also be available on the re-designed Polity mobi-site, which is accessible at m.polity.org.za.
Unlike the previous Polity mobi-site, which only offered a newsfeed, the new mobile version will be much improved, with a navigation system that enables readers to have mobile access to all of Polity’s unique content and Press Offices. Mobi-site readers who register will also be able to use the “Save Article” functionality.
“We have spent a great deal of time working on the re-design of Polity’s mobi-site, as we find that more than 20% of our online readers are now reading our sites on their mobile devices,” says Creamer. Polity’s apps for iPhone and Android devices are also being updated.
Polity boasts a distinguished history since its inception in the mid-1990s. Its original founder, anti-apartheid activist, Tim Jenkin, escaped from the notorious Pretoria Central Prison by walking through 20 prison doors using wooden keys he fashioned from broomstick handles. Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the hero in the JK Rowling fantasy series, will be playing Jenkin in an upcoming film about his brazen escape.