The reason why we listen to a certain radio station or watch that TV station or buy a certain newspaper is because they have something that is of interest. The radio station probably has a favourite show that plays our favourite music or the TV show has our favourite programmes or the newspaper has what we want to read. Media consumption, for lack of a better word, is dependent on preference.
However, the different types of media are different. One can only watch or listen to one thing at a time. Meaning, if two favourite shows (say football and basketball for sports lovers) are on different stations, one has to choose what they love most. With newspapers, one can be able to get the full dose of what they love without the worry of having to choose … if everything is put in the same newspaper. This is to say that I need not buy two different newspapers each for my different preferences but I should be able to get everything in the same paper.
The EastAfrican is a wonderful newspaper that is divided into various sections for easy reading. The paper has tried to get at least something for anyone who picks it. Whether you love politics, or lifestyle news or commentaries, there will be something for you. That as it may, there are a few instances where the paper has been somewhat a disappointment, albeit in a small way.
Most businessmen and entrepreneurs will buy newspapers in the hope that they will get business from the newspapers. Most of the other newspapers have a few pages dedicated to tender advertisements. The EastAfrican seems to come short in this regard. There are hardly any tender advertisements, and if there are, it is only one or two and maybe one or two Expression of Interests. It would be awesome if the paper can include tender advertisements from the different East African states. This will not only increase circulation of the paper, but also join up suppliers and buyers of goods and services from different countries.
As young entrepreneur, I am looking to learn from what other successful entrepreneurs have gone through, what challenges they have faced and how they overcame the challenges. It would be good if the paper introduced a segment where they would interview someone who has made it in a certain field and put up a brief history of where they have come from to where they are currently. The fields could vary from Actuaries, businessmen, doctors, writers, artistes, sportsmen just to mention. The people to be interviewed could be of different countries so that a doctor in, say Kenya can know what challenges a doctor in Uganda faces.
More people follow at least one sport than those who do not follow any sport at all. Increasing the sports coverage would do the paper a lot of good. Whether it is news from the local football leagues or from international leagues or news about athletes performance in grand prix, people will most definitely appreciate the sports coverage. Moreover, our athletes and other sportsmen will get the recognition they deserve.
The paper has a nice lifestyle segment, but it seems to be lacking in entertainment news. While it may not be the main reason why people buy the paper, but everyone will stop flipping the page when they get to news of how Sauti Sol have been nominated for a BET Award, or the return of Lupita Nyong’o to the country. The thing about Entertainment news is that it needs not be more than a page or two, and one can get most of the news from social media. Moreover, they could highlight on some of the things that have trended on social media to help in the entertainment segment. After all even business people need to relax and finding out what’s happening in the region is important so that if let’s say a business person from Kenya is in Uganda for a month they can know what events are happening, where they can get some entertainment and get to sample some of the culture. After all music, art and drama appreciation is universal and it is a skill that business people need to cultivate.
Finally, the EastAfrican is one of the most difficult papers to get, unfortunately. If you are in the CBD, and it is Wednesday, chances are most newspaper vendors will have run out of the paper. And that is the CBD, meaning the paper probably runs out of stock earlier in other parts of the country. It will be great if the paper increased circulation so that the paper is available past Monday.
Having said that, the EastAfrican is a good newspaper. It can, however, be made a better paper.