There was never a year in modern media more dominated by a single catastrophe than has 2020 been by COVID—19. A year that saw millions die within days of contraction of the dreaded C, a year that witnessed shutdowns and lockdowns, ban on flights and travels, and business closures. At The Rising Sun newspapers and online media, we witnessed a world of changes in our local communities, businesses and people-centered relations. In this ubiquitous profession, staying away from people is not an option in journalism. Our exposure is as deadly as the next, but our commitment to the profession, to bring the news and marketing to our readers remains prioritized. For many people, WFH is not a swear word, pajamas and casuals needed no ironing, and online shopping became the biggest change in retail.
Despite the domination of COVID-19 in the media reports, The Rising Sun newspapers and online media uncovered headline-making local news that took its precedence in the annals of media history.
January celebrated the birth of the Christmas Day and New Year babies, highlighted the educational excellence of school learners’ post-matric exams. February ushered in the month’s romantic themes, saw political action as Stonebridge protests demanded its status as a voting station, and a New York City calling for a oThongathi teen.
March dominated with the deep violence in domestic abuse as another wife was murdered, allegedly by her husband. But that domination paled in comparison as the country watched with collective, despairing, bated breaths as SA went in to national lockdown over the COVID-19. The statistics at that time in our media coverage was at 7 deaths! In between the mass hysteria and mass fear, we opened up the challenges of smacking versus alternatives as the government made physical smacking’s, beating of children illegal. Concerted efforts in April saw corporations and individuals provide the first of many relief programs for affected citizens.
2020: Our year in review
Peace and prayer formed a meditative backdrop for mental -and physical – health as the unity events sought to unite a despairing country. June started the heartbreak as businesses floundered and retrenchments began as more companies shuttered. Devastated by lockdowns and minimum and no income, the inevitable collapsed the business systems. Despite the government’s COVID-19 relief structures, thousands were retrenched or forced to accept salary and pay cuts, minimized working hours. After months of online learning, schools reopened – much to trepidation and nerves. Schools closed again as cases spiked in that environment.
Historical events that usually celebrates SA’s heritage, political progression and history, were behind cameras and virtuality.
July saw massive feeding campaigns as organisations began rallying even further for local support, bringing credence to local aid NPOs. In between the world’s deathly dramas, August saw NASA send a robot to Mars. Funeral directors shared their deadly experiences of a different kind of death, potatoes rocketed in prices, and Indians came under siege as brutal murders rock the north coast.
December highlighted shocking cases of brutality, as a mother was almost murdered after coming to her son’s protection. As we round off another year, this year markedly different, the new anti-virus vaccine was administered. With more a million jabs done in the USA, and more in UK, it is resoundingly positive. Though SA vaccinations are expected only around the 4th month in 2021!
We celebrate life and we provide coverage of the life we seek to celebrate. Here, at the Rising Sun, we salute our healthcare frontline workers, the essential and emergency service workers, the food suppliers and the family person fighting all odds to provide for the family. Make 2021 different to stop the spread, and productive.
From all of us at your favourite media to all of you, our favourite people, season’s blessings and a happy new year.