Community Newspaper As A Source Of Wealth And Affluence
I am surprised at the dearth of Community Newspapers in Nigeria. It is not thatit will not sell; people are not just thinking about it. I am aware of Oriwu News in Ikorodu but why is it that there is no Eko Akete in Lagos Island Why no Bodija news in Ibadan and Ekiti Kete in Ado Ekiti.
By the way, a local newspaper is a newspaper that reports a locality to the World and the world to the community. It will concentrate its news to the happenings in the locality. The marriages, the schools. Chieftaincy titles, Sports, the local government activities, etc. in the community are reported. At the same time, it tells the community important news outside, useful to them.
For example, it would be foolhardy of the editor of such newspaper to ignore the USA presidential election just because it is foreign news. Where to put this in the paper, however depends on the editor’s judgment.
Two people can start it and employ more hands as the business grows. You will need an office for advertisers to submit their copies. Initially the paper may go for free, but adverts will defray part of the cost.
Now, do not go singing the impossibility song. Go and read the story of Dr, Sunny Ojeagbese, the boss of Complete Sports and Success Digest Extra. He with his wife started that empire with N6500.
Advertisers are limitless for a local newspaper because the cost of space is cheap, compared to national dailies. Therefore, many people will be able afford it.
In addition, because it concentrates on a small area, it suits most adverts. Therefore, you will need to approach Schools, Churches, Block Makers. Hairdressers of repute, Estate Agents, Eateries and so no.
Your local government must be carried along to place government adverts in your newspaper. You will notice that even National newspapers seek government patronage.
Printing is not a problem as there are local printers. It is advisable to start small and test the market, Test the water with a foot before you put the second.
More often than not, it will not start as a daily. Start as a weekly newspaper to feel the pulse of the readers. You will use their responses to adjust to taste.
If you have not been practising print journalism, you will need an experienced hand as consultant. He may not charge you for his advice. You may also study a running successful community newspaper to emulate and later best it.
MARKETING:Use posters, advertisement in churches, mosques to announce the arrival of the paper. Thereafter it advertises itself. Existing national newspapers will also help in announcing its birth.
CAVEAT. Be objective in your reporting, giving room for the other side to have a say. Run away from libel.