Ncube urges papers to adapt or die

ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH) chairman Trevor Ncube yesterday encouraged journalism training institutions to embrace new information technologies in their curricula, as the world was increasingly going digital.

Report by Staff Writer

Presenting a paper titled Media Trends in Africa — from Print to Mobile at the inaugural National University of Science and Technology (Nust)’s Journalism and Media Studies guest lecture series as part of the faculty’s World Press Freedom Day celebrations, Ncube described the mobile phone as a game changer.

Ncube, chairman of AMH, publishers of NewsDay, The Standard and the Zimbabwe Independent, said the traditional newspaper was on its way out and its place was being taken by new technologies, particularly the Internet and mobile phones.

“Africa’s young and educated is in love with mobile phones and the Internet,” he said.

“This group has not yet fallen in love with newspapers and the majority never will.

“The opportunity that the newspaper industry has on the continent is to get its content onto smart and feature phones and tablets and build sustainable business models around this new ecosystem.”

Ncube said the digital revolution had been made possible by the deployment of submarine fibre optic cables, a development that had seen Internet connectivity prices going down by more than 80%.

“There will be over 230 million mobile broadband connections in Africa by 2015 and more people (will have) broadband (Internet) than electricity at home,” he said.

“This is huge for the newspaper industries’ ability to develop business models that take advantage of this technological revolution.”

Ncube said there was an estimated 735 million mobile phones in Africa with projections of 85% mobile connectivity by 2015 across the continent, adding that Africa was the second largest mobile market in the world after China.

“This, plus the fact that 40% of Africa’s population is under 15 years of age, says the continent will enjoy a massive demographic dividend, which has potential to have a positive impact on the newspaper industry on the continent for a long time to come,” he said.

Ncube said there were scenarios that projected that the last newspaper to be published in the entire world would be in Africa in 2038.

“The (newspaper) industry’s current problems on the continent are daunting and require substantial financial investments,” he said.

“And yet the digital revolution presents the continent with an opportunity to catapult into the future with new confidence.”

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13 Comments

  1. Vaudze mukanya

  2. Now Ncube is clever than Warren Buffet. Why would Warren Buffet be buying a newspaper company at this day and age if Ncube’s predictions are correct? Traditional media will never die and that a fact.

    1. Trevor is speaking from a position of knowledge, we have already started noticing a trend the world over where the traditional newspaper is being phased out or the number of printed newspapers being significantly reduced per publication. This has resulted in the manufacturers of Newsprint such as Mondi and SAPPi reducing their capacity or closing their plants focusing on other paper products.
      see http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/mondi-achieves-35-growth-in-q1-underlying-operating-profit-2013-05-03

      2038 is 25 years away from now i.e 5 5 year strategic plans, you can make an investment and get your return and sell off the assets in 25 years…so why not invest buffet??

  3. Ncube is right.There´s evry good reason to invest in technology bcoz the wrld today is better defined by technology.Traditional media will always come as a second option.

  4. Phunyukabemphethe

    Ncube is trying to modernise the Gukurahundis, I love that. Mthwakazi have always been in the forefront of every new initiative in Zim since time immemorial!!

  5. Pukunyukabembete

    I am a true mtwakazi but i bliv that shonas are better than us,they are advanced in education,they they are more inteligent than us abomtwakazi,we must cope them

    1. Phunyukabemphethe

      KwaMthwakazi, siyakwazi ukupela u “MTHWAKAZI”. Uzamile Gukurahundi labantu shame, I pity you.

      As long as you are Shona pretending to be me, you simply give yourself away with your failure to spell Mthwakazi words properly!!

      TRY HARDER, ZAMA NDUNA!!

  6. LOvedirty Zinguruveretsvina

    Yes we arre advancing in technologe so why sidelining newspapers saka vanhu voverenda news kupi .kana manews press asisiko pliz think as an educated man trevor ncube

  7. Ncube is a true visionary..

    1. Phunyukabemphethe

      Indeed, because he is a Mthwakazi!!

  8. Ncube is right.I can’t remember when I last parted with a $ to buy a newspaper.Internet is the way to go

  9. I agree with Ncube regarding the rapid expansion and penetration of new media technologies including the mobile phone. However, its naive to state as fact that the newspaper was on its way out. Sorry,,its not true, this statement is not supported by any empirical data rather assumption theory. In Europe where there is almost 99% technology penetration( of all kinds) the newspaper and NOT the television,radio or internet mediated communication is still the most trusted source of information especially by opinion leaders. Infact printed/hard copy information products are still growing-food for thought Sir.

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