This business is about people.
That’s hardly a Big Revelation…but still it’s amazing how often stuff about people in many newspapers gets submerged under piles of words about issues…
And issues, no matter how worthy of course, are colder entities than people…
Here at the Suns I encourage, and try to build, fanaticism about people stuff…
It’s a daily lesson for reporters, re-writers and sub-editors…people details are the jewels in the mix…the skill lies in washing away the mud and the gravel to leave the jewel gleaming in the light.
I encourage this because, in my view, it’s a HUGE connection with our readers…
It’s in those people details that recognition lies: Ah, this story is about someone who is very like me…or someone that I know…
Here are a few examples from this very week…
We featured a great front-page picture of a female shopkeeper whose place had just been robbed of a computer and a wallet by some street thug (see picture >>).
She wasn’t taking that lying down.
She charged out of the shop, felled the wicked guy with a punch to the jaw with her “iron fist, grabbed him by the neck and hit him again!”
She also warned curious taxi drivers who were gathering to marvel at the spectacle to keep away…and held the bad guy on the ground until the cops arrived.
And there we discovered, in her own words, this gem about what makes her so tough…”Look, I am not from the township, but the village…I used to drink home-made mageu and hard porridge…”
I’ll bet there was not a single reader of Daily Sun on the day who did not compare this lady’s origins and dietary habits with their own…
We’re also, at the moment, running another competition in conjunction with our mobile site in which SunReaders can win a R2 000 voucher for food for a Summer Feast with their nearest and dearest.
This being the Sun, we take SPECIAL care to find out EXACTLY what the favourite luxuries are that they’ll be feasting on … And, of course, we put every detail of that in the stories we publish.
A 75-year-old winner told us: “We will enjoy juice, fried hake and pork…I love fish but can not often afford it…I am left with two kids, but we’ll feast together…” (see picture >>)
The day before, a 32-year-old winner told us: “A braai…with spices, T-bone steaks, wors, some lamb and a pasta salad…and a few bottles of wine and beer to help make it most memorable.” (see picture >>)
And then we had the story of a 10-year-old boy who woke up singing hymns…hours later he was found dead, his feet stuck in the mud at the bottom of a dam of rain water at a building site where he went for a swim.
His family said they thought he sang those hymns to say goodbye…because he KNEW this would be his last day. So, of course, we asked WHICH hymns…And the answer came: “I hear when Jesus calls my name…” and “Guardian angel, show me the way…”
These may sound like small details, but around here they are precious gems.
They are part of the human cement that, I hope, connects the Suns to their readers…people stuff first comes around here…morning, noon and night.
Deon du Plessis