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News - South East - Enugu Updated: June 20, 2024

Newspaper vendors bemoan as pine media, economic challenges affect sales

By Philip Adeboye
June 20, 2024
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Newspaper vendors and sales representatives of various print media houses in Enugu report that their businesses are struggling due to the rise of online media.

In interviews conducted on Wednesday, they noted that the growth of online media has significantly reduced the sales of physical newspapers.

They also mentioned that the current economic difficulties in the country are exacerbating the problem.

Emmanuel Okeke, a veteran in the business for over 30 years, described the situation as dire.

“I have been in this business for over 30 years, built a house with it and married and raised children with it, but since I joined the business, I have never had it so bad.

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“Things started declining as the online media crept into the business, as many of the readers now enjoy reading on their mobile phones,” he said.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, Okeke said he was now relying more on the real estate business as an agent to feed his family.

A sales representative of one of the leading newspapers in Nigeria spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying that the lack of patronage was affecting even the company negatively.

“Before, I used to receive 500 copies of the newspaper and sometimes you could rarely find unsold copies at the end of the day but today I receive less than 100 copies and 70 per cent are unsold,” he said.

According to him, while the advent of online media started the decline of hard copies, the current hardship had worsened the whole situation.

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“Since the advent of online media, people no longer read hard copies. Before you see someone buying a newspaper, he must either have an advertisement or a change of name.

“The situation has been made worse by the current hardship; people prefer to use their money to find food than to read newspapers, so it’s as bad as that,” he said.

The rep also disclosed that the rising cost of printing materials also led to declining fortunes for newspapers.

“Newsprint used to cost between N600,000 and N700,000 a rim but today it has risen to between N1.5 million and N1.6 million due to the unstable foreign exchange market, ” he said.

Another vendor, Agnes Ezeora, said that many newspapers she used to work for as an agent in Enugu had gone online.

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“All the papers have gone online and are no longer in hard copy, so I am just doing nothing at the moment.

“Before, I used to go to the airport daily for supply; I supply 50 copies of only This Day and supply other national dailies as well, but today I don’t go anywhere,” she said.

Ezeora said that she had resorted to selling provisions to make ends meet.

“I can no longer rely on the business; instead, I am now combining it with the sale of provisions to survive,” she said.

Many old vendors at the popular Edinburgh Street Enugu have joined property and house agents to make ends meet. 

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