NIGERIA. Abuja: Last Tuesday, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, the president of the Nigerian Newspaper Owners Association (NPAN), addressed the press during the NatureNews Magazine launch. He said that the adverse effects of the scourge of COVID-19 and the increasing decline in readership pose a harsh challenge to revenue maximization in Nigerian newspaper newsrooms.
Yusuf, who also participated in the 17th All Nigerian Editors’ Conference (ANEC), said that advertising “is now the industry’s only source of income.” The journalist wondered how 200,000 copies of newspapers circulate in a huge population of more than 200 million. “How will newspapers survive if people don’t read?” He asked, adding again that media platforms survive primarily on “prestige and the saving grace is advertising.”
On how the pandemic barely affected the media industry, he stated, “Business has become more difficult and the pandemic further emphasized the difficulties facing the media industry.”
Yusuf, who is also the chairman of the board of the Media Trust Limited (the flagship of a major Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust), further condemned poor readership culture among Nigerians. However, one has to recognize that many territories are undergoing extreme challenges and others are fighting for basic freedoms such as access to schools.