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