Newspapers, which have for many years been a major source of information for many people seem to have succumbed to the pressures of the new digital age.
With the ever changing technology landscape, it appears most people now prefer to read news items from the internet as newspapers are no longer seen as the ultimate source of information.
Some decades ago in Ghana, newspapers such as Daily Graphic, Ghanaian Times, Chronicle and Daily Guide were the most reliable sources of information aside radio and television and the most circulated sources of information in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of the Graphic Communications Group, Kenneth Ashigbey admits that the volumes of newspapers produced in the past has reduced significantly as many people prefer to watch television or listen to radio.
He said radio and television have taken the value the newspaper has borne, as well as its readership.
Even tabloids are struggling to keep their sales up. Managing Editor of The Republic Newspaper David Tamakloe said his company is unable to “break even. The public’s attention is shifting form hard copy to soft copy and we will have no choice but to halt the production of newspapers”.
Managing Editor of the National Forum newspaper, Kwabena Bomfeh also lamented about poor sales saying “sadly, we are not making much sales through our hard copies but we get patronage from both online and social media”.
Some people who spoke to Joy Business blamed the dip in newspaper sales to the increased availability of internet and the emergence of smart phones.
They said it was more convenient and faster to access information on the internet and therefore it was unnecessary to purchase newspapers.
Others also said the newspapers are too expensive as compared to the price of data bundles sold by internet service providers and thus readers would rather find information on the internet.
However Kenneth Ashigbey has hopes that the situation will improve. He is of the impression that some gains can still be made from the newspaper business.
He encouraged operators of print media houses to introduce and invent new ways in which the newspaper can be made more attractive to readers.