Newswatch (Nigeria)

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Type Weekly news magazine
Owner(s) Jimoh Ibrahim
Publisher Newswatch Communications Limited
Editor Bala Dan Abu
Founded 28 January 1985
Language English
Headquarters Broad Street, Lagos, Nigeria

Newswatch is a Nigerian weekly news magazine published by Newswatch Communications Limited in Nigeria. Newswatch's weekly print run can be as high as 100,000 copies.[1]

Newswatch was formed by Nigerian journalists Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese and Yakubu Mohammed in 1984, and the first edition was distributed on 28 January 1985.[2] A 1989 description of the magazine said it "changed the format of print journalism in Nigeria [and] introduced bold, investigative formats to news reporting in Nigeria".[3] However, in the first few months of the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, who took power in August 1985, the magazine was shamelessly flattering. It printed his face on the cover four times and even criticized "anyone who attempted to make life unpleasant for Babangida".[4]

Giwa, the first editor-in-chief of Newswatch, was killed by a mail bomb in his home on 19 October 1986. The magazine was forced to shut down for six months from April 1987 by the Babangida administration for publishing information from what seemed to be a harmless government White Paper.[2]

Newswatch named Babangida "Man of the Year" (1989), and Babangida appointed Alex Akinyele, a Newswatch Director, as his information minister.[2] In June 1992 the government expelled a journalist from the Financial Times who had written an article criticizing government use of oil money. Although papers such as Concord and The Guardian were critical, Newswatch remained silent.[5]

As of 1996 the magazine was said to have a circulation of 150,000 copies in Africa, Europe and North America.[3] Prominent directors included Chief Tony Momoh, Otunba Mike Adenuga and Chief Alex Akinyele.[6] In December 2010 the magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary at a ceremony in Lagos. The magazine gave out a book Jogging in the Jungle: The Newswatch Story to attendees. Former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba presided as chairman.[7]

On 8 May 2011 it was announced that 51% of the shares of Newswatch Communications Limited had been purchased by Global Media Mirror Ltd, publishers of the National Mirror and owned by Jimoh Ibrahim. Ibrahim had taken over as executive chairman, replacing Alex Akinyele.[8] Bala Dan Abu, executive editor, was given responsibility for building up the editorial team. The new owner was to pay off all debts and pay the backlog of seven months of staff salary.[9]


  1. ^ "NEWSWATCH Nigeria's weekly newsmagazine". Nigerian Investment. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Ndaeyo Uko (2004). Romancing the gun: the press as promoter of military rule. Africa World Press. p. 100. ISBN 1-59221-189-5. 
  3. ^ a b James Phillip Jeter (1996). International Afro mass media: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 30. ISBN 0-313-28400-8. 
  4. ^ Lyn S. Graybill; Kenneth W. Thompson; White Burkett Miller Center (1998). Africa's second wave of freedom: development, democracy, and rights. University Press of America. p. 150. ISBN 0-7618-1071-4. 
  5. ^ Ayo Olukotun (2004). Repressive state and resurgent media under Nigeria's military dictatorship, 1988-98. Nordic Africa Institute. p. 79. ISBN 91-7106-524-5. 
  6. ^ "JIMOH IBRAHIM BUYS NEWSWATCH". Nigerian News Daily. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  7. ^ "Participants laud Newswatch at book launch". Vanguard (Nigeria). 9 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  8. ^ Chris Ajaero (8 May 2011). "Newswatch In New Hands". Newswatch. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Olasunkanmi Akoni (5 May 2011). "Jimoh Ibrahim Acquires Newswatch Magazine". Vanguard (Nigeria). Retrieved 2011-05-13.