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The Rotunda goes international (sort of, not really)

Has North Fitzroy's favourite newspaper begun conquering the world? No.

Unsurprisingly, this newspaper has few readers in Johannesburg. Possibly even 0.

Multiple instances within the past month have indicated The Rotunda is beginning to find an audience outside of North Fitzroy – at least at first they did. It seemed, at some points, that this humble newspaper’s sphere of influence was spreading from North Fitzroy, beyond the latté belt of the inner north, past state boundaries and even traversing oceans.

The first indication came when The Rotunda’s Instagram account (@the.rotunda) received a sudden influx of followers for no apparent reason. It seemed we had been mentioned in the Instagram stories of a bunch of accounts. What for? And why were they all Irish?

Why was Andrew Fitzsimons, a hairdresser from Dublin with nearly 600,000 Instagram followers – at one-point Kourtney Kardashian’s personal hairstylist – bringing attention to a small community newspaper from Melbourne? I mean, the rat-running story was good, but had it really struck a chord in Ireland?

 

"I mean, the rat-running story was good, but had it really struck a chord in Ireland?"

 

No, it hadn’t. In actuality, Dublin is home to The Rotunda Hospital, one of the oldest continuously operating maternity hospitals in the world. Someone he knows must have had a baby there – or something like that, we can’t say for sure because he deleted the Instagram story promptly. Sadly, Kourtney Kardashian probably still doesn’t know this newspaper exists.

The second indication came during delivery of The Rotunda’s third issue in late September. Two volunteers were making their way down King Street in the suburb’s north, and as one of them opened the gate of a non-descript home, a young man quickly opened the front door.

He approached the volunteer.

“Is that The Rotunda? Thanks, I love it. Could I also get one for my girlfriend? She reads it too, but she’s in Joburg.”

The volunteer, surprised but delighted, promptly handed him another copy and wished him well. He returned to his fellow deliverer and excitedly told him the news: The Rotunda had seemingly cracked the South African market. The residents of Johannesburg, currently in the midst of widespread riots and looting, were apparently comforting themselves by reading about North Fitzroy’s pubs – or having their pre-existing distress compounded by anxiety over the future of Piedimonte’s.

The fellow deliverer thought this was unlikely. “Are you sure he didn’t say Coburg?”

The first deliverer thought for a moment.

“Hmmm. Yeah, he probably said Coburg”.


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