There is no doubt that the future of hardcopy Newspaper is currently being threatened due to digital editions. Many readers now seem to prefer reading e-copies or catching up with newspaper links via social media pages. For one thing, they would not have to carry the newspaper about, and again, they can have access to multiple online newspapers simultaneously.
Despite the uncertainty that surround Newspaper hardcopies, publishers have continued to keep hope alive by printing even though, the number of copies being printed have reduced drastically, as all news agencies now have an online department.
However, there are still quite a number of people who patronise vendors daily, who like to hold and read the papers in hardcopy, and keep it around for reference purposes.
Still in the confusion,the Newspapers Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria announced an increase in the cover prices of newspaper titles effective from January 2, 2024.
In a statement on Sunday by its Executive Secretary, Feyi Smith, NPAN said it “took this difficult decision after a careful review of the current economic situation and our members’ production costs.”
It explained that, “In the last few years, inflation and the devaluation of the naira have had very serious negative effects on our members’ production costs and eaten deeply into their profit margins.
“Nevertheless, our members retained the current cover prices for over four years, while inflation more than doubled within the same period.
“We acknowledge that the negative effects of the tough economic climate are felt by our readers. It is for this reason that publishers have borne the brunt of high production costs for the last four years without adjusting cover prices.
“We hope that this price increase would meet with the understanding of our readers even as we continue to do our best to take advantage of technology and better collaboration amongst publishers to improve the quality of our products.”
This notice has continued to receive mixed-feelings among stakeholders and Newspaper lovers. Is this the best time? Would this singular action not lead to further apathy in the purchase of Newspaper hardcopies? All these and many more are begging for answers.
Apart from just increasing the cover price because everything is now costly, the justification should be more than that. The Newspaper publishers should come up with ways of overhauling their contents, quality of print out and other ways of satisfying the readers.
In Nigeria,we are more concerned about profit than giving value for money. This orientation should change in 2024 without limiting it to only hardcopy Newspapers but in all areas where their is exchange of good and services for money.
As we await the new price increase come January 2, 2024 which will vary from title to title,it is our hope that the new price increase will be justified in the quality of production and will not further threaten the continued survival of Newspaper hardcopies.