Showing posts with label News Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News Media. Show all posts

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Untold Story of Distributing Newspapers and Magazines in Nigeria

Nigerians reading newspapers at a news stand.

Distributing newspapers and magazines in Nigeria is not an easy task, because there is no good infrastructure for the distribution of newspapers and magazines in the 36 states of the most populous country in Africa. With a population of over 140 people, Nigeria is the largest market in Africa and there are over 65 million users of GSM phones in Nigeria spending over $78 million weekly on phone calls. This awesome population of millions of people can afford to read newspapers and magazines if you know how to reach them daily, weekly or monthly.

We can attract some millions of the over 65 million users of GSM phones to buy newspapers and magazines if we can convince them to appreciate the fact that buying and reading more newspapers and magazines will be of great benefit to sustainable development of the Nigerian press and very important to nation building. It is possible.

I have been in Lagos city since last August, working with the Publisher of the new Supple magazine and following him to supply thousands of his magazine to distributors and vendors

We have to wake up early at 5 am and drive to the office of the Newspapers and Magazines Distributors Association of Nigeria on the Marina in Lagos, where scores of distributors and vendors gather everyday by day to share and circulate newspapers and magazines of all sorts.

They get to their workplace at dawn and I have seen them using candle lights in their large warehouse when there was a power outage. I have seen many young women among the young and old men carrying and sharing newspapers and magazines with total professional concentration. These conscientious Nigerians make me proud of being a Nigerian whenever I see them at work even in the dim candlelight. I wonder if some of them have taken their bath before leaving their various houses and rushing to their daily workplace before 5 am!

After supplying to them, we move on to Ikeja to supply to our distributors in the state capital. We also supply hundreds of copies of Supple magazine to the other distributors and vendors in other states through the distribution network of the National Daily newspapers.

Until you have handed your publications to the vendors you will not rest, because without these vendors your newspaper or magazine will not be well distributed all over Nigeria.

The Punch is the largest circulating newspaper in Nigeria and believe it or not, the circulation is not up 100, 000 copies daily in a country with over 140 million people! The irony is the fact that The Punch was circulating over 200, 000 copies daily when the population of Nigeria was less than 120 million people. Why?

Many reasons have been given for the gradual drop in the figures of copies of newspapers and magazines sold in Nigeria. But the truth is the figures of the readers have not dropped over the years. In fact, the readers have been increasing, but the majority of them do not buy the copies of newspapers and magazines they read daily. They have been sharing the copies bought by their colleagues in the workplace or neighbours and thousands more actually pay less to the vendors to read the newspapers on the spot and then drop them and many of these copies have been returned as unsold to the publishers.

If you are in Lagos city or other urban towns and cities in Nigeria, you will notice small crowds of people milling around news stands of vendors and gazing at the covers of the displayed newspapers and magazines. Many of them read the headlines and first paragraphs on the front pages and others pay less then the cover price to read more pages of the newspapers before leaving the spot. The vendors have nothing much to lose if the copies of these newspapers passed round among so many “on the spot” readers are returned unsold, because they make extra money from these passersby on each copy of the various newspapers and also collect their daily commissions from the distributors or publishers. In fact, some publishers use shortcuts to bypass the major registered distributors and engage the vendors to sell their newspapers and magazines directly to the readers on the street. The publisher of the Castle real estate and property newspaper employs his own vendors. The Guardian and The Punch also have their own vendors.

Millions of Nigerians will prefer to pay less to read fewer pages of newspapers and magazines than to pay more for more pages, because most of them will read only what attracts them and skip or glance over the adverts and other uninteresting things before dropping the newspapers and magazines. Most of them are interested in reading sensational breaking news on politics, crime and social gossip of romantic or erotic scandals and the millions of applicants prefer to look for vacancies and that would be all. Therefore, I can bet that newspaper of only 10 pages on these topics selling for as little as N50 will sell more thousands of copies than The Punch or The Guardian of 50-100 pages. In fact, they regard most content as garbage and the less garbage or page fillers the better for them.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima is the Media Consultant of Supple magazine and the President/CEO of International Digital Post Network, LLC.

Hello! Have you read Half of a Yellow Sun?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why the Yorubas Are Ahead of the Igbos in the News Media in Nigeria

Why the Yorubas Are Ahead of the Igbos in the News Media in Nigeria

The Yorubas deserve kudos for the sustainable development and advancement of the news media in Nigeria since the 19th century to date.

Yorubas have used their newspapers and magazines to propel political awareness and boost the entertainment industry in Nigeria. Such newspapers as The Punch, The Tribune and PM News and newsmagazines like The News and Tell and entertainment/celebrity newsmagazines and tabloids like the Fame, City People, National Encomium, Global Excellence and others have made more Nigerians to be politically wiser and made the entertainment industry to boom by reporting and promoting Nigerian entertainers.

The point of this short article is to note why the Yorubas are actually ahead of the Igbos in the printing and publication of newspapers and magazines in Nigeria.
An Igbo publisher noted the following observations.

1. Igbos do printing and publishing like they do their cash and carry trading commodities business without being patient to go through the gestation and treadmill of the printing and publishing of newspapers and magazines, because they want quick return on investment in their usual get rich quick methods of business. Therefore they have abandoned their newspapers and magazines.

2. Yorubas are more cooperative among themselves in the news media whereas the Igbos are more competitive for selfish aggrandizement and titular pursuits.

3. The average Yoruba renders assistance without exploiting you, but the average Igbo hardly renders assistance without exploiting and taking advantage of you. The Igbo printer or publisher has what I call the Shylock Syndrome.

4. The Yoruba apprentice believes more in service than the Igbo apprentice.

5. Igbo printers and publishers are very stingy whereas the Yoruba printers and publishers are gracious and generous and they pay more salaries to their employees and treat them better than the Igbo printers and publishers.

6. Yorubas in the advertising agencies have also supported the Yoruba printers and publishers by giving them adverts.

7. Yoruba printers and publishers of newspapers and magazines are more democratic than the Igbos from the newsroom to the boardroom.

8. Yorubas read more newspapers and magazines than the Igbos.