A few weeks ago blogger Oly Orollah (of Kenyan Pundit) posted this on developments in Mozambique’s media market, specifically about the newspaper, Verdade (The Truth) and the paper’s president, Eric Charas:
Verdade (the truth) … is Mozambique’s biggest circulation newspaper. Verdade reaches more than 400, 000 people in Mozambique and is the country’s first high-quality, free newspaper. Charas is also the founder and CEO of Charas LDA, an investment company that invests in Mozambican entrepreneurs. Erik runs a profitable “free” newspaper. How so, one wonders? Well, to hear him tell it a few days ago (and I’m sure I’m butchering the story), after realizing that most of Mozambique’s population can’t afford to spend money on a daily newspaper, he decided to offer if free to people who could not afford to buy one (his paper is literally hand-distributed), everyone else is told to go online. Because of the exclusivity of the paper as it were, advertisers scramble to get their ads in, and he also has other revenue channels through the integration of mobile and social media. Perhaps he should be advising American newspapers on alternative media models?