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Newspaper Vendor Laments Decline in Readership

Dahiru Musa, a newspaper vendor based in Kano State said there is a decline in the readership of newspapers in society, especially among the youths. 

Speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa, the vendor said he has observed a tremendous drop in his sales during his 35 years of business.

READ: Readership Drop Affecting Newspapers’ Revenue – NPAN President

According to him, the decline is due to the emergence of digital media which brings news to the audience at their fingertips.

“People come here everyday, but you would only hear them talking about stories they read online, which is the same thing as printed on the papers we sell here. Out of 20 people, only 2 would end up patronizing us,” he said. 

Musa reminisced the past days where he used to sell about 500 copies per day. He could barely sell 10 in this digital era.

According to him, youths are hardly seen patronising newspapers, and a few that do, are mostly interested in the sport section. 

“Youths are indifferent about buying and reading newspapers these days. The few that do are after the sports news.

“Even our aged customers have reduced. Only 60 out 100 percent patronise us. Unlike before, papers like Daily Trust, The Nation, Sun Daily are not being paid attention to,” he added. 

In June 2021, distributors of newspapers and magazines sought intervention from the government and well-meaning individuals and groups over being neglected and living on peanuts.

READ: GOCOP Advocates Objective Electoral Reportage, Calls for Synergy Between INEC, Media, Others

“In view of the foregoing, we need urgent attention. We are constrained to appeal to government or interest groups to identify with us, gather data and give necessary assistance to our organisation.

“Government or interest groups should educate newspaper vendors and provide additional skills for them. Government should provide an enabling business environment for distributors of press products by improving the infrastructure. They should provide insurance cover to vendors in case of accidents,” a statement signed by Godwin Akpan, the Chairman, Newspapers and Magazines Distributors’ Association of Nigeria (NDAN) in Lagos Island, read in part. 

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