Posted by News Express | 24 July 2015 | 7,836 times
It is a sad day for Nigerian journalism. TheNEWS, the vibrant weekly which helped redefine magazine journalism in Nigeria, has stopped printing after 22 years in the market.
“This is the last hard copy edition of TheNEWS that we shall be producing,” Mr. Bayo Onanuga, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, announced in the current edition dated Volume 45, No. 2, July 27, 2015. “From this week, TheNEWS will now be available electronically at www.thenewsnigeria.com.ng,” Onanuga, who ran the magazine from inception, added.
He explained that the magazine’s migration to online was informed by the “raising costs of production and declining advertising income, which make the continuous production in print form, very unprofitable”.
He urged the Nigerian public to join the magazine’s ‘migration train to the web’ and solicited for continuous ‘loyalty of the past 22 years’ when the magazine debuted.
News Express reports that TheNEWS blazed a trail when it debuted on February 8, 1993, taking a front seat in the war for the return of the country to democratic rule. The magazine thrived for several years, building its own corporate head office along Acme Road in Ikeja, Lagos. At the height of its glory the magazine acquired a web offset printing press and had sister publications such as AM News (a daily), PM News (also a daily) and the weekly TEMPO newspaper – all of which later collapsed.
The group, published by the Independent Communication Network Limited, however, struggled in the past few years, with its woes being compounded by the increasing relevance of online journalism in the country. Only this morning, News Express published a statement issued yesterday by the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), which indicated that TheNEWS was owing its workers nine months’ salaries.
News Express learnt that several of the workers broke down and wept bitterly when they were informed of the decision to rest the magazine and lay them off as the online edition does not require a large staff strength.
With the death of TheNEWS, the future appears bleak for weekly magazine publishing in the country as the rival TELL has also fallen on hard times, reportedly being eight months behind in salary payment.
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