The managing director and editor-in-chief of African Newspapers Nigeria Plc, the publishers of the Tribune titles, Edward Dickson has said that the the country’s traditional media was already in an “intensive care unit” before COVID-19.
Dickson said before the pandemic, it had already become difficult to manage the business of traditional media organisations.
Speaking during ‘Ayekooto on Radio’, a weekly radio show anchored by Olayinka Agboola aired on Lagelu 96.7FM, Felele, Ibadan, the Nigerian Tribune MD while making reference to the financial struggles faced by the traditional media, said they had contracted “COVID-18” before the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said a media manager will have to ensure that the business does not die despite the financial constraints.
“Specifically, it has been hectic running the Tribune titles. Running publishing outfits like this has been onerous. As a business, it is one that has been so difficult to understand,” he said.
“One can never be able to understand it. I will tell you that every copy of our publications out there is being sold at a loss. Go to any newspaper house in Nigeria and find out.
“And, you see, it has been those of us that God put in charge that are doing our very best to ensure that we keep publishing even if we have to burn fingers. The newspaper industry must survive. It must not crash because if it does, then, our society will be in deep trouble.
“The typical newspaper house has a constitutional role to play as the watchdog and the conscience of the society. So, an average media manager sees it as his or her cardinal responsibility to ensure that the newspaper under his care does not die.”
Speaking further, Dickson said the dichotomy between journalists and bloggers who operate mainly on social media will end soon, adding that traditional newspapers also have online platforms.
“This is because we are at the infancy stage of this development. If you take a cursory look at the names of the people behind the numerous online publishing outfits, you will find out that they are mostly our colleagues who worked with the traditional media outfits who have moved on to establish their own newspaper platforms online. All our traditional newspapers also have online platforms,” he added.