Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Review: The Art of Publishing a Newspaper by Kodi Barth

The complete introduction in art of newspaper publication for both students and journalists

Title: The Art of Publishing a Newspaper
Author: Kodi Barth (French copy by Daniel Fra and Eyoum Ngague)
Publisher: Pauline’s publications Africa (2001)
Pages: 159
Genre: Academics

The African media is faced with many challenges prime being political censorship and poor infrastructure. In addition there are no adequate educational materials for journalism study. The Art of Publishing a Newspaper is beneficial to principle players in print media like students, journalists and even the public.

Kodi Barth, a seasoned Kenyan journalist and media scholar (he sits on the board of East African media review rag Expression Today). he translated the book from French title “ Creer, gerer vet anime rune publication.” By Daniel Fra and Eyoum Ngague (1998)

The book is easily divided into eight chapters. Firstly there is need to build an editorial content by having appropriate title published at a specific period for targeted audience. The book advises that the editorial content should be permanent and agreed upon by all key players to secure readers loyalty.

Recruitment of a team by either advertising, recommendation or co-opting of journalists is in the heart of publishing a newspaper. In addition writers, freelancers and correspondents working away from editorial board should be paid in time and nurtured since they reduce the cost of publishing. The managing editor, though role differs in each media house, is in charge of the editorial content helped by section editors and subs.

The team would have the legal and administrations requirement as stipulated in the country to skirt around law as a safety barrier against libel, censorship and legalization of content.

The Art of Publishing a Newspaper entails too the acquisition of technicals like secure premises with adequate means of communication and first and efficient computers in editorial, sales and accounting department of the paper.

The book points that financing of papers is a risky since profit ploughed back take years to grow. This is due to readers taking time to get used to the paper. Advice is given on getting initial finance and how to manage them.

Guidelines are given on strategy and techniques of attracting advertising revenue and how rates apply. The advertising team should attract advertisers and not let them control the editorial content least they scare away readers.

Lastly the difficulty of distributing of paper amid poor transport network and low readership outside major towns is outlined. The book advises on reginalisation in areas where the newspaper is strong like Taifa Leo in Coast province and other circulating in major cities. Groupings of newspaper houses with radio and Tv stations in covering news he;ps too in seling the paper.

Bartholomew A. Kodi translations is outlined with local Kenyan highlighted issues which which gives stories a home touch. Especially The Seed a catholic magazine in their use of digital colour photos.

The book involves a quick read for journalists and stakeholders to highlight the print industry with little scholarly touch since it deals with more practical than academic journalism.

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