The demise of newspapers will demise budding newspaper readers

In the Western world, from a news and information perspective, there is the belief the demise of traditional newspaper organizations is due in great part to the growth of Internet but her e in Ethiopia newspapers which are suffering from low circulation due to low literacy rates and scarcity of diversity which in turn resulted in poor distribution outside of the capital will be demised from price increase in the publishing industry.
Last week, most of the private newspapers of Addis Ababa presented their plight sternly of being on market. The newspapers reported that more will shrink and die if government does not stop aggressive pricing on the publishing industry. All newspapers were gloomy about the newspaper business with this reason. They reported that all over their newsrooms, rising costs have squeezed profit margins of newspaper publishers to the lowest point since they started publishing.
Even though circulation, ad revenue and total income were sluggishly increasing in most of the private newspapers I selected for this piece, costs have shot up faster. Two biggest cost factors for newspapers in Addis Ababa: 1) newsprint, which accounts for about 50% of the total costs for most of weekly papers, has risen by 40% to 50% this year; 2) employment costs, especially for journalists and support staff, have gone up as much as 30% due salary increment because of hyper inflation in the country in the same period.
As a result, the future for Ethiopia’s finger counted weeklies is unwelcoming. Even papers who like to consider themselves primarily “developmental and positive to the regime’s power” find themselves in dilemma. Even bi weeklies as the wealthy and institutionalized, The Reporter will be hard hit. Newspapers with smaller circulation will be wiped out. Aggressive pricing on publishing industry have already taken their toll. Last week one of the weekly reported that it will cease from being on market.
Price increases are not the only causes for demise of Ethiopia’s newspapers. Over the last several years a number of Ethiopia’s newspapers have gone out of business ordinarily because of multifaceted heavy government involvement on private press. When a newspaper shuts down almost all of its readers just disappears – unlike the Westerners, Ethiopian readers will not turn their attention to internet rather they will simply turn inactive readers

2 Comments

  1. There will be no significant effect on the number of readers. Most Ethiopians are not used to buying newspapers. They simply go to newpaper dealers and rent the paper for few minutes. I hope there bill not be any change in that. As for me, for economical resons, I used to buy one paper per week. Though the price has increased now, I have no option but keep on buying my favorite paper.
    If the papers go out of market due to this, then only we will stop reading.

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