Posted by News Express | 19 January 2013 | 4,082 times
It was long awaited, but when Newswatch newspaper debuted today, it turned out to be an anti-climax.
Though bulky in size (96 pages) and all-colour as News Express had exclusively reported earlier, there is little to stand the paper out on the newsstand and make you to part with N200 for a copy.
The page-planning is not spectacular, the writing style ordinary and the picture reproduction quality poor.
Worse, the cover headline of Saturday Newswatch said almost nothing due to the emphasis on the non-marketable part of the headline. The kicker, “$250M OIL DEAL”, which might have made some impact as the main headline, was downplayed while the screaming headline “David-West reveals IBB’s connection”, cannot in any way be regarded as capable of moving the market.
To compound the problem, Newswatch newspaper looks a bit like its stable mate, National Mirror, but has been denied the kind of push that was given Mirror when it debuted on December 17, 2010.
The six adverts in the paper are from companies from the same Jimoh Ibrahim Group, thus raising questions about the ability of the marketers to squeeze water out of stone.
For Newswatch to survive in the crowded Nigerian newspaper market, it has to return to the drawing board and do something unusual. Saturday Newswatch is expected to be followed by Sunday Newswatch tomorrow while the daily joins on February 11.
The publisher and his editors do not seem to be keen on following the global trend as the paper has no online presence yet. News Express tried to log into the advertised website, www.mydailynewswatcng.com, but drew blank.
It would be recalled that Newswatch was Nigeria’s iconic weekly magazine as at the time Lagos business man, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, acquired the controlling shares in 2011. He controversially took over the management of Newswatch last August and decided to turn the 27 years old ailing magazine into a newspaper while also retaining the magazine format. Barrister Ibrahim and Newswatch Founding Directors are presently in court over his seizure of the company.
•Photo: Newswatch Publisher Jimoh Ibrahim.
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