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Monday, July 15, 2024

Online media is killing our businesses, newspaper vendors lament

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Newsboys and sales representatives of some print media companies in Enugu State say their businesses are on edge due to the infiltration of online media.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, they said the infiltration of online media has led to a drastic reduction in print sales.

They also cited the country’s current economic challenges as factors worsening the situation.

‘It is very bad’

Emmanuel Okeke, who has been in the business for more than 30 years, described the situation as “very bad.”

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

“Things started to decline as online media infiltrated the business as many of the readers now enjoy reading on their mobile phones,” he said.

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Okeke said he now relied more on the real estate business as an agent to feed his family.

A sales representative of one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers told NAN, on condition of anonymity, that the lack of sponsorship was negatively affecting even the company.

“Before I received 500 copies of the newspaper and sometimes at the end of the day they are not found unsold, but today I receive less than 100 copies and 70 percent are unsold,” he said.

According to him, while the advent of online media started the decline of print, the current difficulties in Nigeria had worsened the situation.

“Since the advent of online media, people no longer read print copies before seeing someone buying a newspaper, unless it has an advertisement or a name change.

“The situation has worsened due to the current difficulties; People prefer to use their money to look for food than to read newspapers. So, it’s as bad as that,” she said.

The sales representative also revealed that the rising cost of printing materials has also led to the newspapers’ declining fortunes.

“Newspaper used to cost between N600,000 and N700,000 per tire but today it has increased to between N1.5 million and N1.6 million due to the instability of the foreign exchange market,” he said.

Newsboys are now real estate agents

Another saleswoman, Agnes Ezeora, said many newspapers, for which she was the agent in Enugu, had gone online.

“All newspapers were published online and are no longer published in print. So at the moment I’m not doing anything.

“Before, I used to go to the airport every day to get supplies. I only deliver 50 copies of ThisDay and also other national newspapers, but today I am not going anywhere,” he said.

Mrs Ezeora said she resorted to selling provisions to make ends meet.

“I can no longer depend on the business, but now I combine it with the sale of provisions to survive,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that many former vendors in the popular Edinburgh Street, Enugu, have joined hands with estate agents and estate agents to make ends meet.

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