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. 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. However, fiercely competitive business environment of the newspaper industry in Nigeria and the growing interest of publishers to establish English language newspapers contributed in stifling numerous local language publications that came up after Iwe Irohin. But some local language newspapers still exist in Nigeria and are focusing on specific audience base, surviving the challenges of existing in a competitive environment. Nigerian media landscape has local language media that are doing pretty well. This is mostly true when it has to do with Yoruba and Hausa language media. Here is a list of top 10 most successful local language newspapers in Nigeria that are still in circulation. This a list was primarily drawn based on circulation and readership.
1. ALAROYE (WEEKLY NEWSPAPER )
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.
2. AMINIYA (WEEKLY NEWSPAPER )
Aminiya is the Hausa language newspaper published by Media Trust, a privately held Nigerian newspaper publishing company based in Abuja. The company also that publishes the English-language Daily Trust, Weekly Trust, Sunday Trust, as well as a new pan-African magazine, Kilimanjaro. It is one of the leading Media companies in Nigeria.
Aminiya is the most widely read Hausa language newspaper in Nigeria. It is very popular among readers of all classes especially in the Northern part of the country. It is also read online.
3. LEADERSHIP A YAU (DAILY NEWSPAPER)
This is the Hausa language edition of Leadership newspaper, a national daily in Nigeria established in 2004. It is the second most popular Hausa language newspaper in Nigeria. It is very unique because it provides news stories in Hausa language every day. Readers love it. This newspaper is also read online.
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4. PREMIUM TIMES HAUSA
This is the most popular Hausa language online newspaper among Hausa-speaking readers in Nigeria. It is an online-only newspaper published by Premium Times Srervices, who are the publishers of Premium Times Newspaper, the most widely-read online newspaper in Nigeria.
5. Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo
This is one of the oldest newspapers in Northern Nigeria. It is also the first Hausa newspaper in the world. It was established in January, 1939 by the Northern Literature agency which later became Gaskiya Corporation. The newspaper played crucial awareness creation roles during the second World War and later on in the nationalist struggles. Today, the newspaper has a strong online presence, keeping Hausa-speaking readers informed on emerging trends in the nations polity, entertainment, sports and other issues. It is printed three times a week.
6. ALBISHIR NEWSPAPER
AlBishir is a Hausa language newspaper published by The Triumph Publishing Company Limited based in the ancient city of Kano, Kano State and owned by the state government. The organisation founded the Triumph newspaper in 1980 but this English language newspaper ceased publication in 2012 while the it’s sister publications, AlBishir and AlFijir are still in circulation.
AlBishir is another popular Hausa language newspaper in Nigeria. It keeps readers up to date with news written in Hausa language.
7. ALFIJIR JUMMA NEWSPAPER
AlFijir is a Hausa language newspaper also published by The Triumph Publishing Company Limited based in the ancient city of Kano, Kano State and owned by the state government. The organisation founded the Triumph newspaper in 1980 but this English language newspaper ceased publication in 2012 while the it’s sister publications, AlBishir and AlFijir are still in circulation. While Alfijir Jumma is published in Arabic alphabets, the Albishir is published in normal Hausa alphabets.
Alfjir Jumma is a popular Hausa language newspaper among Hausa-speaking readers in Nigeria. Its content presents variety of news that interests readers, making it one of the most sought-after Hausa language newspapers in Nigeria.