Tuesday, April 12, 2011


What Future for the Daily News

Statement by Swaebou Conateh on the occasion of the second anniversary of the newspaper on 6 April, 2011

Exactly two years ago today, the first edition of a newspaper called the Daily News,  hit the streets of KMC and Banjul Municipality. The venture was a brave, bold move on the part of our colleague, Madi Ceesay of Media Agenda and hitherto also of The Gambia Press Union, the Independent newspaper and the Gambia News and Report.
  At the time many people doubted if the paper could make it in an increasingly crowded media field. Already in circulation were the Daily Observer, the Point and Foroyaa Newspapers, among others. Even more so is the fact that the reading public, with limited incomes and even more limited appetite for reading or buying newspapers—thanks to their preference for celluloid films and the audio=visual news presentations.
  I often remind people that for most Gambians, buying even one copy of a newspaper is a choice between having something to read or having three cups of rice for the household.  Moreover, the venture will also depend on readers who are already used to the established papers.
  However, even though audacious  at the time. Mr Ceesay ventured into the field of newspaper publishing and brought out the first edition of the Daily News with its boldly declared motto of factual, reliable, authoritative .
  The Rubicon having thus been crossed, there had been little time to look back. We have seen how the ‘daily’s’ frequency has been increasedd from one to several times a week in pursuit  of the managements target, to make it he what its name proclaims, daily.
  Today we can afford to congratulate Mr,.Ceesay for what he has been able to achieve, surviving  the birth pangs is itself an achievement. And I congratulate you and your staff, Mr. Ceesay.
  But besides   continous non stop publication to date is  the fact that the Daily News, by living up to its creed  of factual, reliable, authoritative reports, reports has now found its niche  in the Gambian publishing scene.
  In its own way, by sheer drive and imagination, the paper has defined its own character side by side with other papers of the Gambia . It has indeed shown us that by adhering to true and trusted forms of journalism, the reading public no matter how well educated it may be, would still reach out to have value for money when it comes to buying a newspaper.
  What values, one may ask.  We believe the values readers find in the Daily News lie in its uncompromising  editorial stance on fundamental issues of human rights, citizenship and good governance, its investigative reports, for example the Brikama Area Council, and its success at combining  entertainment with factual reports.
   I find the paper’s foreign news pages  up to date and informative in a fast changing and competitive news environment.
  Another important aspect of progress is in the field of advertising.  We  all know the importance of advertising to newspapers. From virtually nothing at all, the paper has increased its adventising space and linage. This is a good sign as advertisers are the best indication of a papers acceptance by members of the community.
  Advertising is also a guarantor of  more success.  There can indeed be no future for a paper that cannot attract advertisements.
  With this inspiring background, it is possible to see a bright future  for the Daily News.  I have always said that  The Gambia is still very much a virgin territory as far a  media investments are concerned.
   Now, as the paper grows in reputation and circulation,  we can be rest assured that it will also grow in size in terms of the number of pages. As advertising  revenue increases, so also will the number   and quality of staff.
    My advice to the management is to continue to aim for high quality staff in terms of educational qualifications, English usage and various other talents  and qualifications  which can provide a quality product at the end of the day.
   This of course will bring to the paper’s readers richer dividends in terms of a  well balanced mixture of news and views, with journalists in sciences. Technology, IT, graphics arts as well as other fields.
  As the saying goes the sky is the limit on the way ahead

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