Expert Indentifies Newspaper’s Niche in Today’s Market

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Raheem Akingbolu

Despite its followers and recent popularity among Nigerian readers, Online News Portals and other social media platforms, will only play complementary roles to hard copy newspapers, the Managing Director of the Point Newspaper, a weekly tabloid, Mrs. Yemi Kolapo, has said.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos recently on the advantage the print media has over digital, Kolapo, who is the Managing Director of the Point Newspaper, stated that the insinuation in some quarters that Digital Media is a threat to Traditional Media is not a true reflection of what happens among Nigerian readers.

While she is not dismissing the fact that various online platforms and blogs are playing complementary roles, she argued that Print Media still remains the most credible and trusted source of information to readers across board.
She said: “First, let me commend the leadership of the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN), and other promoters of print media platforms for their efforts to promote professionalism in the industry.

They should not rest on their oars; rather they should buckle up more by encouraging newspaper owners to provide robust Online Versions of their newspapers that would complement the hard copies. My friend, the publisher of the 100-year-old Gongwer News in Michigan, US, once told me that information is the key and should not be received free. NPAN still needs to go back to the drawing board to re-assess the issue of free news online with a view to arriving at a win-win position. There is a need for all stakeholders to pursue a common goal that would further make newspaper business profitable.

“Though there are many challenges, the print media is definitely more respected, especially when you do it right. No discerning reader will give regard to a story posted at the corner of the room of an unknown blogger to the one written by a trained journalist and produced through a standard process.

Even at that, newspapers must follow the emerging trend and compete on the social media. For instance, top stories on The Point have begun to attract over a thousand reactions/comments online, by respected Nigerians across all fields, ’’
In all, Kolapo, who insisted that there would always be market for print media, likened The Point to a super market, where everyone, across all strata finds something of interest to read. ‘’We offer a newspaper in the mood of super market for everyone to key into his or area of interest. If the news is in The Point, then it is authentic’’ she stated.

To excel in newspaper business, Kolapo, who was a former Special Assistant on Media to a former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, tasked stakeholders to encourage investigative journalism that would enhance exclusivity of reports.