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Reasons behind becoming the best-selling Bangla

daily newspaper

CMN 606 - Media Economics and Management


Course Instructor: REAZ AHMAD

Independent University of Bangladesh


Date of Submission: 31st July, 2015

Submitted by:
MD. ASHRAFUL ALAM
STUDENT ID: 1411226

This is what really happened, reported by a free press to a free


people. It is the raw material of history; it is the story of our own
times.
- Henry Steel Commager (American historian)

Daily newspaper has become a part of any modern society as one


of the top daily basis consumed product globally for decades in both
printed and digital industries. Like all other consumer based
products newspaper industry requires investments which publishers
spend to ensure that the newspaper arrives at the door step of the
subscribers in time. Many newspapers are transforming their
organizations from manufacturing oriented enterprise to customer
centric business and relying on customer relationship management
solution to help catapult newspaper into the new age (Margaret,
2002). The main focus of this paper is to nominate the best
newspaper of Bangladesh and provide proper reasoning behind the
nominations. In order to complete this paper Prothom Alo is
focused under Bangla newspaper category considering the focus of
the newspaper on provided contents, news authenticity and
neutrality, news presentation, quality of language, timelines and
prioritizing public agenda.
In the past early of the eightys of the last century the then
government of Bangladesh had declared the newspaper sector as
an industry (Siddique, 2002). Now a day it has become a wide and
very dynamic industry of the economy the country with highest
density of population in the age of technical revolution. Prothom Alo
can be categorized as a Trans-industrial conglomerate hence it
was firstt published on 4th November, 1998 under the ownership of
Transcom Ltd, a leading corporate giant of the country. Transcraft
Ltd, a subsidiary company of the Transcom Ltd is playing the role of
the publisher of this daily. Prothom Alo is a sister concern of
Shaptahik 2000 and The Daily Star which are the leading weekly
MD. Ashraful Alam

ID: 1411226

and the leading English daily of Country. Matiur Rahman is the


editor since its founding. Bengali Prothom Alo means the first light.
Its named for Sulin Gangulys popular novel Prothom Alo (Info As
Aid, 2012).
To own a newspaper or broadcasting station has long been an
expensive undertaking. But to describe media as corporate is not
just to say that the media are owned by large companies (Reaz
Ahmad, Media Ownership, Class note June 2015). Prothom Alos
product strategy is to provide independent, unbiased, non-partisan,
upholding social values, non-communal and modern outlook to the
consumers for the betterment of the whole society. Critical success
factors of Prothom Alo are smart journalism, teamwork, freedom in
decision-making, social interaction & involvement and strong
financial support. The main differences of Prothom Alo from its
competitors are quality of news presentation, professionalism and
journalistic approach focusing on increasing the volume of
circulation on the competitive marketing environment as a part of
its strategy to actualize revenue. Presenting authentic and neutral
news with truthful content using proper quality of language
considering public agendas requires highly efficient Newsroom
Management. A high level of skilled employee with proper
knowledge in language , proper time management and ability to
adapt a constantly changing culture are must managing a
newsroom where the challenge is
maintaining maximizing
productivity from the news team to deliver contents which are
relevant, accessible, entertaining an exciting in a changing market
under proper leadership along with bringing multimedia effects, recalculating Ad revenues & subscriptions and monetizing digital
versions (Reaz Ahmad, Newsroom Management, Class note, July
2015). Two departments official department and press department
perform all the activities of Prothom Alo. The Office department is
also divided into two sections News sections and General sections.
Within the news section there are three divisions Editorial division,
News division and Feature division. There three divisions are
MD. Ashraful Alam

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directed by the three deputy editors who perform their job under
the direct supervision of the editor of the daily. It is mentionable
that that in Bangladesh Prothom Alo has first introduced the
position of Deputy Editor. Within general section under the
supervision of administrative manager there are four divisions
Administration, Advertising, Accounts and Circulation. And finally
the general Manager with the cooperation of a Press Manager and a
Press supervisor controls the Press Department. Besides the head
office there are branch offices in Chittagong and Bogra, which are
managed, in the same fashion of that of the head office. (Jogajog,
2002).
A product is a set of attributes assembled in an identifiable in an
identifiable form. In marketing, a broader definition of product to
indicate that consumers are not really buying a set of attributes, but
rather benefits that satisfy their needs. A product is an umbrella
term that covers goods, service, places, persons and ideas
(Stanton, 1994). Prothom Alo follows the Broadsheet configuration
in its product sizing. Broadsheet is the largest of the various
newspaper formats and is characterized by long vertical pages;
typically 22 inches or more (Reaz Ahmad, Broadsheet, Tabloid &
Periodicals, Class note, July 2015 ). Its found that the total space of
Prothom alos each issue is 7,040 Square Inc. The total space for
matter is 6,130 square inches, which is 87% of total space, the rest
of the 13% is the space of margin. The total space for news of that
particular issue is 3558 Square inches, which is 50.5% of the total
space and 58% of the total matter space. The total space for
Advertising is 2,572 Square inches, which is 36.5% of the total
space and 42% of the total matter space. (Reza, 2006). The
following chat shows the comparison of newspaper based of
spacing (MRDI-IOM, 2005):

MD. Ashraful Alam

ID: 1411226

Marketing offer is some combination of products, services,


information, or experiences offered to market to satisfy a need or a
want (Kotler, 2003). For Prothom Alo, the basic product is
information i. e. news and views. At the second level, marketers
turn the core benefit into an actual product. In this stage product
features, design, quality level, brand name and packing are
developed. The actual product of Proothom Alo is the newspaper
itself. In the third stage, to differentiate their offers from
competitors a marketer offers some additional benefits with core
benefit and actual product, which is referred as the augmented
product. Prothom Alo offers different supplementary as its
augmented product. The following chat shows the comparison
between Prothom Alo and other leading newspapers (MRDI-IOM,
2005):

MD. Ashraful Alam

ID: 1411226

Circulation refers to the sales of a newspaper and study shows that


there is a positive correlation between the volumes of circulation
and the advertising revenue, which are the main source of earning
of a newspaper (Mamun, 2001). From Circulation point of view,
Prothom Alo is the unparalleled market leader of present newspaper
market of Bangladesh. From press facilities located in Dhaka,
Chittagong and Bogra, around 5,32,000 copies (as of September
'13) are circulated each day. According to National Media Survey
2012, every day 5.1 million people read the print edition of Prothom
Alo. The claimed readership of the print edition of this newspaper is
9.6 million. The Alexa (Internet Traffic Analysis System) ranking of
Prothom Alo is 5 from Bangladesh & Bounce rate is 29.50 till 1st
May 2014. Prothom Alo is enjoying the market lead ship in its web
edition also with both Bangla and English edition. Thus not only
print version, its online visitor is more than 1.6 million. Readers read
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from 200 different countries daily. It is a most popular online portal


too of Bangladesh. 81.8% people read this paper from online
through prothom-alo.com & eprothomalo.com. Prothom Alo Apps for
Smartphone is very popular. The 2011 Nielsen Media and
Demographic Survey estimated that Prothom Alo had anoverall
readership of 5.3 million. (Info As Aid, 2012) .
Being well aware of its social responsibilities and duties, the
newspaper works to ensure human rights to all, remove gender
discrimination, advocate rule of law, press freedom, transparency
and accountability in the administration and in the world of trade
and industry and above all to uphold national interests. For
example, when Bangladesh media forgot about the unsolved
murder case of Sagor-Runi, last year on 16 th October Prothom alo
did a details follow up report with updates and current standstill
state. (Prothom Alo, October 2014). Another example can be
mentioned from MRDI IOM report 2005 where its stated that
Prothom Alo was the one to run an human-interest follow-up story
on the members of an road accident victim with group photograph.
It was also mentioned that, Prothom Alo numbered the highest
amount of stories assigned to migration news, gave much more
details on human trafficking, rape and murder news coverage and
rightly put them in the front page quite prominently (MRDI-IOM,
2005). It is collaborated with foreign news agencies to provide the
current world news of politics, technology, entertainment, sports
and other critical issues in time.
Besides running regular news reports on current issues, Prothom
Alo also carries special reports, human-interest stories, features,
articles and essays written by its staffs and other professionals and
talents from across the country and abroad. As it remains alert of its
social duties, Prothom Alo frequently organizes roundtables,
seminars and discussions on the issues. It also works closely with
the civil society for this end with campaign for social change. To
promote young talents, The Daily Prothom Alo organizes debates
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and different competitions such as Math Olympiad, Vasha Protijogita


etc. at school and college-levels and social & media awards for
those who show excellence in different fields. It also founded an Aid
Trust Fund for acid victims, anti-drug campaign and injured
journalists.
As a market leader, Prothom has the ability and resource to take
initiatives to expand the overall market demand for the daily
newspaper in Bangladesh. It may enter into the rural market with
the cooperation of different NGOs as its business partner to
increase its market share. In this connection it can organize study
circles in rural area and maintain newspaper stands at an increased
number. Considering all the above mentioned issues and resources
Prothom Alo merits the precise to be called the bestselling daily
Bangla newspaper.

References:
MD. Ashraful Alam

ID: 1411226

Siddique, Abdul Hai, (2000). Songbadpotro Biponon, ed 01,


August
Molloy, Margaret, (2002) CRM best practive help newspapers
uncover revenue opportunities
Rahman, A. S. M. Anisur, (2002). Jatio Doinik Songbadpotrer
Sanggothonik Kathamo o Sompadona Prokria, Jogajog, a
Journal of Communication and Journalism, Vol. 4, March
Reza, Riaz,Iqbal (2006). Newspaper Marketing in Bangladesh,
University Journal of Business and Economics, Vol. 1, July
Mamun, MD Shamim Al, (2001) Songbadpotro Bajarjatkoron,
Marketing Update
Stanton, J., Etzel, J. and Walker, J (1994), Fundamentals of
Marketing, McGraw-Hill int. ed
Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2003), Principles f Marketing,
Prentice-Hall
MRDI-IOM, (2005). Report on Media news coverage on
population movement in Bangladesh, A Media Content
Analysis
National Media Survey 2012
Info As Aid, (2012). Bangladesh Media and Telecom
landscape guide, May
Prothom Alo 24th Oct 2005
Prothom Alo, 9th Sep 2013
Prothom Alo 1st May 2014
Prothom Alo 16th Oct 2014

MD. Ashraful Alam

ID: 1411226