06 december 2016. The Namibia Economist newspaper announced this week it has discontinued the printed edition and will in future publish through its established website www.economist.com.na.
Making the announcement on Tuesday this week the editor, Daniel Steinmann said “Twenty years ago, the Namibia Economist was a pioneer by publishing the first dedicated, weekly business newspaper. Today, the Economist is again a pioneer by becoming the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital.”
Stating the rationale for their far-reaching decision the newspaper’s management quoted figures from its most recent visitors statistics, saying the web newspaper [saw a] gradual but substantial growth in the number of website readers.
“For the period of one year from December 2015 to November 2016, the visits increased to just under three million. For the month of November 2016, the number of visitors exceeded 30,000, making it slightly more than the 28,000 printed copies produced per 4-week month. The visits for November 2016 were slightly more than 240,000 while the number of views per week is now more than 54,000. Overall, the website visits have increased by around 800,000 from the end of June 2016 to the end of November 2016.”
This website was established in February 2001 and has been running uninterrupted for fifteen years. During this time, it has undergone many adaptations and improvements to make it the all-encompassing resource it has become today. Roughly 60% of the content in the printed edition was posted to the website edition every Friday mornings.
The Economist newspaper is steered through the transition phase by its editor Steinmann and the Marketing Manager, Desèré Lundon-Muller. Editorial content remains focussed on economic and business news, leveraging the competencies of its management team.
Describing the dramatic expansion of their opportunities, Steinmann said a web newspaper enjoys far more flexibility. “For the first time in its existence, the Economist is updated daily allowing a pro-active dissemination of news.”
The Economist newspaper has been published as a dedicated, weekly business newspaper since August 1996.
“The publishers want to thank the Namibian business community for its support since August 1996 when the first weekly Economist was published” said Steinmann adding that they are grateful to their printers, Newsprint Namibia for their commitment and good service. “Newsprint Namibia has printed the Economist every week without fail from November 2007 to November 2016” he said.
On a sombre note he remarked “Regrettably, the transition from paper to digital requires a restructuring and downscaling. Twelve staff members have to be retrenched by 31 December 2016. We thank our staff and wish them Godspeed for the future. Our hearts go out to them for we realise, it is a difficult time of the year to change jobs.”