In view of the dwindling fortune the newspaper publishing industry faces in the country, the Blueprint Newspaper’s Editor-In-Chief, Hajiya Zainab Sulaiman Okino has called on the Federal Government to consider bailing out the newspaper establishments.
Okino stated this while addressing journalists at the October edition of the Abuja Writers Forum’s Guest Writers Session during which she delivered a paper on the “Challenge of Newspaper Publishing in Northern Nigeria and the incursion/onslaught of the Social Media.”
According to her, the political class is particularly the greatest beneficiaries of what the media is all about, hence the need for the government to come to the industry’s rescue.
“While I accept the fact that some publishers have money and deliberately refuses to pay their staff, in most cases newspapers are hardly able to meet even the overhead cost, especially as the overhead is always ballooning.
“I know how much is being spent in printing these papers every day. What is sold out and the adverts that come into these newspapers, in relation to the number of staff and the cost of running the companies, such money is virtually not enough to go round,” Okino noted.
On the regional parity in the newspaper business in the country, the Editor-In-Chief noted that the North has been at odds in the newspaper business.
Okino however said that, despite all the problems the newspaper industry face in the North, there is hope as far as conventional publishing is concerned.
“In terms of Newspaper publishing, the North has been picking up especially with the fact that Daily Trust has published for about 13 years.
“LEADERSHIP also has been there for over 10 years. Blueprint and People’s Daily have been in existence for over 6 and 7 years respectively.
“The problem that we all face generally today is the Social Media. The phenomenon has taken over everywhere.
“Before you say Jack, everything that is happening at an event is being streamed live to the public by the Citizen Journalists.
“However, it is not a bad thing that the social media has come, our own challenge now, for those of us in the conventional media, is to be more creative,” Okino emphasized.