The print media industry in Nigeria is very vibrant and competitive. Yoruba language newspapers are among leading local language newspapers in the country. They constitute a major pillar in the development of newspapers in Nigeria. The first Nigerian newspaper was a Yoruba language newspaper, Iwe Irohin, which was also the first indigenous language newspaper in Africa. It was established in 1859. The media landscape of Nigeria has a number of indigenous language newspapers which shared in the credit of developing a vibrant newspaper industry in the country. Here is a list of the most popular, vibrant and widely read Yoruba language newspapers in Nigeria. The selection was based on circulation and readership ratings.
Alaroye was first published in 1985. It was published by World Information Agents, and organization run by Musa Alao Adedayo. The publisher, Adedayo, was then 25 years old when he began publishing Alaroye, while still a staff of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Tejuosho, Lagos. Today, Alaroye,a weekly newspaper which means “The Explainer”, is the most popular and most widely read Yoruba language newspaper in Nigeria. After it first hit the news stands in 1985, the newspaper ceased publication for a while due to lack of finance as the publisher was still running the publication alone. The newspaper returned in 1990 but disappeared from the news stands again after just about two years. Another attempt was made in 1994 to resuscitate the publication but it could not last after a few editions. It came back stronger in 1996 and gradually rose to become the most visible and most sought-after Yoruba language newspaper in the country. It became the largest local language newspaper in circulation publishing about 150,000 copies every week.
The emergence of Alaroye marked a turning point the development of Yoruba newspapers in Nigeria. This newspaper came out with innovative cover design, head line casting, page layout and news presentation techniques that took readers by storm. These striking innovations popularized newspaper readership in Nigeria, with Alaroye becoming one of the very few indigenous language newspapers in West Africa to reckon with English language publications in a country.
This is a newspaper published by Lanre Dodo Balogun. It has a lot of entertainment content and is very popular among Yoruba language newspaper audience in the South Western part of Nigeria.
This is a weekly newspaper published by Isaac Babalola. It is majorly an entertainment newspaper, with contents projecting the rich Yoruba language entertainment industry in Nigeria. A lot of stories on Yoruba movie stars feature in this newspaper. It is popular among audience members across South Western Nigeria.
4. Irohin Owuro
This newspaper was first published in December 2014. It is a weekly newspaper. It was established as a general-news medium with a bias for the socioeconomic and cultural development of the Yoruba and Nigerians in general. One of its publishers, Mr. Yinka Alabi, explained to The Guardian that Iroyin Owuro came on stream to fill the gap created by newspapers published in the English Language. The publication is a bit irregular but is one of the popular Yoruba language newspapers in Nigeria. In recognition of its impact in the society, especially among Yoruba people, Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed once paid the newspaper publishers a visit in 2016 as part of efforts to carry the publication along in grassroots mobilization for acceptance of government policies.
5. Gboun Gboun
This used to be one of the biggest and most popular Yoruba newspapers in Nigeria. But it seems not to be regular in the news stands again. However, it makes this list as one of the most widely read Yoruba language newspapers to have been published in Nigeria.