• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Need for collaboration in print media industry

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Globally, the traditional media industry is facing challenges. It is battling to cope and remain relevant amidst keen competition from particularly the new media (the Internet, social media platforms), as well as fragmentation of the media. The worst hit, however, seems to be the print media. This, of course, is having downbeat impact on the industry’s financials.

Nigeria is not exempt from these challenges. In some other environments, publishers have noticed that if proactive steps are not taken, the industry may hit the rocks, and they have tried to realign their operational strategies. But here, print media industry operators appear slow in their response to these challenges.

Concerned stakeholders in the industry have, however, advocated for a summit that will find profound lasting solutions that will save the industry. For them, it has become imperative to attend to the challenges with utmost urgency, else they could adversely create a hole in the industry. Separately assessing the media industry and challenges facing it, Doyin Abiola, former managing director of defunct Concord Newspapers, and Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo State, sometime ago canvassed the convocation of a general conference by Nigerian media practitioners to deliberate on emerging developments posing threat to the practice of the profession.

As it is, operators in the Nigerian print media industry could come together to create a joint operational model that could help them, first and foremost, to reduce the cost of doing business. In the present difficult economic environment where some media organisations are finding it hard to cope, with several months of unpaid salaries, it becomes expedient to collectively rethink business model that will better serve the interest of players in an attempt to cut cost and remain commercially viable.

We think that the existing model in the industry where every newspaper house runs its multifarious operations, such as printing, transportation and distribution, without a support service as obtainable in developed world is unsustainable.

Advocates of a joint operational model question individual media houses bearing all the operational costs, rather than sharing operations such as printing and distribution. What, for instance, is the economic sense in individual newspapers establishing printing press in various parts of Nigeria when this could be collectively handled by a logistics firm?

It is believed within media circles that a better way out of the present quagmire is to see an independent company set up a logistic arm to serve the print industry. Such a firm will handle some operational areas outside the core area of journalism.

But while the industry waits for a summit that will address the general challenges affecting the industry, we believe that first, the introduction and acceptance of joint sound business models or principles can drive and deliver result over a long period as a good business model has become a strong platform on which businesses can build and thrive.