Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
AN UPSIDE of being off the treadmill of daily journalism, with its tyrannical deadlines and late hours, is that one can knock off in time to see one's children in natural light, as the rest of humanity does.
I do miss the adrenalin rush and excitement of the unpredictable workday. But I don't envy my editors their jobs right now. I can do without the insomnia induced by plummeting newspaper sales and free-falling readership figures.
The recession is to blame. The tough economic times have curtailed people's purchasing power. Rocketing food prices have ruled out discretionary expenditure for many. Newspapers can't compete with bread and milk when families struggle to fill empty bellies on shrinking budgets.
I would love to say all that will pass when the economy starts picking up. But I'm afraid the halcyon days of high circulation are over for newspapers. Gone are the huge numbers of readers they enjoyed up to 1994.
Eskom has dashed any hope of recovery. The price of electricity is set to treble in three years, sending all prices sky high.
Also, the trend of free news on the Internet wreaking havoc on newspaper purchases will eventually come to our shores. We have been saved, so far, by our lousy internet access.
All that will change when Telkom gets its act together. There will be blood on the floor. It's inevitable that some newspapers will die. Only the worthy ones that are able to master their operating environment and offer a compelling read will survive.
It need not be all doom and gloom though. These can be exciting times. Thankfully, most old-school journalists and editors have taken the leap of faith. They have embraced the change and have - albeit slowly - stopped conflating journalism with the printed word.
Newspapers have been synonymous with journalism for centuries. But, they are not journalism. The noble craft is platform agnostic. It has more than demonstrated its adaptability by thriving on radio, television, podcasts, the Internet, cellphones and other multimedia platforms.
Change can take its toll. I remember the angst that accompanied Sowetan's foray into Internet publishing. It was in the latter half of 2006. Yes, we waited until that late.
We dreaded the advent of the New Age so much we wouldn't broach the subject, privately hoping our aversion to the future would prevent its inevitable arrival.
Thankfully, the industry had the foresight not to try and swim against the tide. Almost every major newspaper has gone multimedia. The print and online versions of newspapers complement one another.
So far, there is no evidence that the exponential growth of online readership is hurting print locally. In fact, the profile of online readers differs from those of printed newspapers, showing that newspapers have attracted new readers. It remains to be seen how long the cosy relationship lasts before cannibalism sets in.
The latest readership figures - for the six months to June - show that Sowetan has 1,5 million readers; The Times 375000, Daily Dispatch 298000 and The Herald 232000.
Sowetan Online now has 6million unique page impressions a month and 288000 unique users. The respective figures for Times Live (The Times and Sunday Times) are four million and 870000; Daily Dispatch (including Saturday) 1,4 million and 100000 to 130000, The Herald (including Weekend Post)1,7million and 121000. Sunday World has 1,1million page impressions and 80000 unique users.
The beauty is that Sowetan is even making a modest profit online.
Welcome to the future.