The final countdown has begun for the launch
of Sondag, a new Sunday tabloid from Media 24, reports Bate Felix.

Set to hit the streets on May 6, the paper will
be a younger sister to Rapport, City Press and Sunday World. It will be published
by RCP Media in the Media24 stable.

The paper will target both a younger
reading audience and traditional Afrikaans readers with a fresh approach, a
unique news agenda and lighter, personality-driven news typical of tabloids, according
to editor Mike Vink.

Vink said research revealed a clear gap in
the market for people who have never read an Afrikaans Sunday newspaper, people
who for various reasons have stopped reading Rapport and people who would be willing to buy both newspapers
due to the expected relative low cover price of the newcomer.

The research was supported by the attempted
launch of Die Wêreld into that market
niche a few years ago

Though the attempt failed dismally because
of lack of funds and the amateurish nature of the adventure, it proved that
there was indeed a gap in the market as they were able to push between seventy
to eighty thousand copies of the paper.

It clearly showed that there was interest
in an Afrikaans Sunday paper outside Rapport said Vink. Even though Rapport is
big in its own rights, the past years have seen it losing part of its audience.

Sondag will try to fill the gap, with a focus
on human interest-type stories, offering in a less formal reading experience. The paper
will be colourful and glitzy with shorter articles and a strong visual appeal.

Though it will be in a tabloid format, Vink
says it will be more classy and upmarket, without the sleaze of traditional tabloids.

Selling for R5, Sondag will not directly
compete with Rapport. Vink said it would
rather complement the older title, much like Sunday World and City Press appeal
to a wider spectrum of readers in the English market.

Careful to avoid the fate of Die Wêreld, Vink said the paper has the
necessary resources to survive. With 32 journalists recruited from across the
country, and the benefit of being under the Media24 umbrella, Vink said they
have budgeted to break even after the third financial year.

Vink would not commit to a targeted print run or circulation figure, he said
they are hoping to at least hit one hundred thousand in the long run. The paper
will be distributed nationwide, but distribution will be concentrated on the
larger cities.