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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Egypt's Shorouk newspaper raises price, apologises to its readers

In an unsigned editorial titled "apologies dear reader…an inevitable decision," Al-Shorouk cited their decision to "the increase in publishing costs by 80 percent"

Ahram Online , Tuesday 10 Jan 2017
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"Egypt's journalism industry is facing extremely difficult circumstances, maybe harder than any it has faced in its 200 years of existence," began an editorial in private-owned Al-Shorouk newspaper that announced the newspaper had increased its paper issue price by EGP 1 to sell for EGP 3.

In the unsigned editorial titled "apologies dear reader…an inevitable decision," Al-Shorouk daily newspaper said this increase in price is due to "the rise in publishing costs by 80 percent, and an alarming decrease in advertisements targeting print newspapers."  

In November 2016, Al-Ahram publishing house, one of Al-Ahram Institution's holdings, sent a notification to the dozens of newspapers and magazines it publishes, including Al-Shorouk Newspaper, that it would increase the publishing costs to cope with the increasing prices of raw materials after the pound’s flotation.

In November, after months of hard currency shortages, Egypt's central bank floated the local currency, leaving the pound's rate to be decided according to the supply and demand of the market.

As of Tuesday, the Egyptian pound registered an average of EGP 18.50 to the dollar, compared to the EGP 8.88 before the flotation.

Al-Shorouk is not the first paper to increase its prices, private Al-Mal economic newspaper recently increased its price from EGP 3 to EGP 4, citing the same reasons.

In March 2015, state-owned Al-Ahram daily newspaper doubled price from one to two Egyptian pounds, citing the increase in electricity prices and energy as well as a devaluation of the pound.

In the past two years, private-owned newspapers, including Al-Shorouk, laid off dozens of journalists as a way to control its expenses in the face of the financial crisis.

In September 2015, Al-Tahrir Newspaper cancelled its paper-edition to save costs and settled for their online edition only.

Al-Shorouk's editorial also touched on the declining print industry, a global concern for journalists, by stating that "the young generation stopped browsing print newspapers and sought online sources instead, which offer content free of charge."

The editorial added that the increase in online readers has not been matched by an increase in advertisers opting to post their ads online.

"We promise the readers we will offer more services and enhance the journalistic content, either in the print version or online, in appreciation of the [readers'] role in the existence of journalism," the editorial concluded.

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