Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Morocco or the UK, whatever the country or the mission, for survival a newspaper needs a business model.
At a roundtable on press freedom held on Monday as part of the 62nd World Newspaper Congress, there was unanimity on the need for cheap capital and lots of it.
It will allow newspapers to invest in training, upgrade and expansion.
About 900 participants from 87 countries are in the city for the annual event of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.
President Pratibha Patil will inaugurate the four-day congress on Tuesday.
Ahmed Benchmesi’s magazine Tel Quel isn’t very popular among the Morocco’s ruling class and money isn’t easy. But he’s managed to strike a balance by publishing good photographs of those in power and carrying a full page of corporate news.
“The biggest defence for media is profitable media. If you’re profitable, it saves you from government pressure...,” said Trevor Ncube, chairman of the South Africa’s Mail and Guardian. His paper will break even in three years.
Chris Elliot of The Guardian, UK, said they had a business model and expected to get half of the revenue from cover price of the paper.
Leading publishers, CEOs, managing directors, chief editors and senior newspaper executives are attending the event that will discuss a host of issues including curbs on media coverage of sports events, challenges posed by Google, future of journalism and entrepreneurial journalism.
There will also be a special session on “What we do about Google”.