The Effects of Online Newspapers on Newspaper Cicrulation

Newspapers are journals for producing and retaining information and events. They are the primary medium from which people receive news. According to the Wikipedia, the newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. Newspapers are usually printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as Newsprint. The printed product received at bookshops and newsstands may seem like a technological improvement from Johannes Gutenberg’s time.

In fact, Gutenberg, a German Blacksmith (1398-1468) is often credited with the evolution of printing which is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. At present, technologies are indeed shaping the scope of news reporting all over the world, with Nigeria inclusive. In fact, technology has always been a metaphor for change in the media industries (Defleur and Dennis 1994:224). The fact however, is that newspapers are well into the technological age.

Reporters dip into digitized data for source materials and write stories on computers. Editors edit stories and lay out pages electronically. It is in final production that old technologies reign with multimillion naira presses that consume tons and tons of newsprint and barrels and barrels of ink. In delivery too, with minimum-wage vendors who are entrusted to get the papers to readers. This had made newspapers to lag. Hence, circulation figures have drooped so low in recent times.

It is in the light of this that Press Baron, Rupert Murdoch, who once described the profits flowing from his stables of newspapers as “rivers of gold”, was quoted to have said several years later that “sometimes, rivers dry up”. In 2009, a study conducted revealed that the combined daily circulation of all Nigerian newspapers was less than 300000. These figures though was vehemently disagreed upon by Publishers considering the fact that circulation figures is a major factor which the advertiser uses to prepare a media plan.

However, denying a thing does not make it false. The truth is that all newspapers in Nigeria today, have a combined daily circulation that is far less than that of Daily Times of Nigeria in 1980, when the population in Nigeria then was about half of what it is today (Popoola, 2010). Times are changing. In the vanguard of evolving trends in media practice and dissemination of news, newspapers are considering combining other options. The introduction of the internet has enabled newspapers to complement their importance by creating online versions of their newspapers.

Online newspapers, according to Wikipedia, are newspapers that exist on the Worldwide Web. It is becoming more common for newspaper publishers to establish Web sites, and sometimes an Internet address is included in the publisher’s statement in print. The extent of online information offered by newspaper publishers varies greatly. Some offer online versions of their print issues, others offer their current top stories with additional Internet news services, and some offer only subscription and advertising information.