Nigerian Catholic Reporter is another brilliant effort aimed at re-defining news. It is an attempt to help the Catholics, in particular, to lead their lives. It is a unique demonstration of obsession with the community, an appreciation of the changes that are taking place in the media business, influenced mainly by the impact of the new media and the widening digital space.
The name of this niche publication describes its objective – It is the report devoted to the Nigerian Catholics; the reporter for the community. It is apparent that this huge community or target market does not have the Catholic-specific news even with the inherent era of unlimited or infinite information. Nigerian Catholic Reporter is a multi-media enterprise whose time has come. It will seek to fill the demand gap for profit and more importantly, for the benefit of the teeming Catholic population.
As the character of news changes, content is no longer key. What appears to be key now is engagement. The demand for content has shifted away to the desire to satisfy the needs and wants of the target market effectively and efficiently. Any newspaper or magazine that understands this critical shift is more likely to succeed.
The Catholic community has too many high-net-worth individuals and groups that need or want additional values than the Sunday-Sunday teachings from the pulpit. These mostly educated adherents need other relevant information on how to grow their businesses; how to conduct their affairs; how to overcome or meet their various challenges they face in their day-to-day living. They need to read about other people’s experiences and how they overcame their challenges.
It is now apparent that people’s media attention span is being spread to so many places other than news. People now self-administer huge amounts of content that relates to their lives, while news, at best, will win a few minutes of their attention per day.
In all of these, people still live in communities and they still get up every morning with things they need to do in the local space, places they need to go, things they need to buy or sell, interests they want to satisfy, problems they need to solve. So they still need local information — far more, in fact, than they need news, which now seems to be everywhere.
People want the kinds of personally relevant local information that will help them get things done in their lives. The identification of these needs may have contributed immensely to the birth of the Nigerian Catholic Reporter which implies a vital awakening in local media businesses.
The reason for the magazine compels the need to stop thinking only of our communities as places where news happen and are reported. The magazine appears to have already started thinking of communities as places where people lead their lives and are helped to do it. The magazine has also tries to figure out how to provide solutions that people regard as essential in their own lives and will use over and over every day.
The example of facebook and some other social media is a living proof that generic information like news is being swamped in massive amounts of inter-personal information.
It was Steve Gray, formerly of the International Press Institute, that stated and rightly so, that news was no longer enough to support a geography-based media business model.