Alec Hogg
Alec Hogg

There are certain local websites you should have on your clickable list, and BizNews is one of them. Founded by Alec Hogg, a writer, broadcaster and media entrepreneur, their payoff line says it all: The rational alternative.

Alec Hogg’s latest newsletter which was sent out today is worth sharing since it touches on topics of huge interest: The power of social media, viral marketing, old media versus new media…and of course the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Have a read…and subscribe to their newsletter…why don’t you. (

10 April 2014

Hi there,

Yesterday provided two reminders of how the power in media has shifted online.

The first was what we saw after Marika Sboros’s superbly written article on Oscar Pistorius’s mental health went viral. We got our first taste of the impact of what social media popularity does to readership when an article we published by Gareth Cliff (Twitter followers: 632 000) shattered the record with a new one set at double the previous high. I thought it would last for months. It made barely a week. Marika’s piece got picked up on the Facebook and Twitter, sending interest in the site off the charts. The new record readership was set yesterday, a staggering five times the old Cliff-inspired daily peak. After 15 years in online publishing, you get to see most things. But what we’re experiencing at Biznews where readership doubled in February, rose 61% in March and is headed for another 50% jump in April, this kind of growth is all very new to me. If you haven’t read the story in question, it leads the daily Top Five list below.

The other example of the swing from Old Media came in the highly civilised form of an ex-CEO of a large locally listed company. Two and a bit years ago, based on the facts available I wrote a scathing piece about his record, suggesting the company was well rid of him. Yesterday the man in question visited the Biznews offices to set out his case. He wanted to do so, he said, because every time someone Googles his name, my unflattering piece is top of the list. He reckons the article has cost him two board positions. So he requested the author to re-examine the facts. Which I’ll obviously do.

Should there be a case for an apology, it will be forthcoming. But that’s not the point. Rather, it’s that despite the disdain which many of those in “old media” have for online journalists, the boot is now very clearly firmly on the other foot. As my visitor mentioned a couple of times, articles published online stay in cyberspace forever. While those in print, well, are tomorrow’s fish and chips wrappers.



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