The newspaper that precipitated a change in government by exposing the true story of the state of health of Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar’Adua – who died on Wednesday – is now fighting for its own survival.
Next, an upstart of a newspaper launched in Lagos 15 months ago by Dele Olojede, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former foreign editor of New York Newsday, reported in January that the President of that oil-rich country of 150 million people was brain dead and would not be returning to office.
This was the bravest and boldest stroke of a newspaper that has trampled on so many powerful toes that its corporate advertising has dwindled and the distribution routes of its print edition have been sabotaged.
Philip van Niekerk looks at how Next is trying to reach new audiences and revenue streams through mobile, how it’s website has outstripped its competition and why such a newspaper is important for Nigeria:
The need for honest, brave journalism is huge and far overshadows the many millions of dollars of well-meaning aid and support for democracy and civil society that usually comes from foreign donors. This is one paper that can’t afford to die.