Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Indonesia: after tsunami, Aceh papers face more competition
An unexpected consequence of the December 2004 tsunami in East Java: there is more competition now than before! According to the International Journalists' Network: " Serambi Indonesia, the only Aceh daily before the tsunami, resumed publication in early January. Since then, Serambi has built its circulation back up to about 25,000 copies – almost three-fourth of its pre-disaster sales, according to Chris Braithwaite, who recently spent a month in Aceh helping Serambi and other papers strengthen their business operations. Sensing an opportunity, a second daily has entered the field. The Jawa Pos Group, a chain of Indonesian papers, has been printing a new daily in nearby Medan and airlifting about 1,000 copies per day into Aceh. Braithwaite said the new daily, Rakyat Aceh, appears to be trying to gain a foothold to compete against Serambi, which is owned by another big Indonesian newspaper chain, the Kompas Gramedia Group.
Rakyat officials told Braithwaite that it, too, plans to build a plant in Banda Aceh. So far, said Braithwaite, late delivery and little promotion have yielded few ads and low sales for the new entrant. But it is pricing its newspaper at half the cover price of Serambi, Braithwaite said, adding, ?the competition is serious.?
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