The Punch

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The Punch
The Punch Newspapers Logo.png
Type Daily
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Family
Publisher Ajibola Ogunsola[1]
Founded 1971/1973
Language English
Country Nigeria
Circulation 80,000
Website http://www.punchng.com

The Punch is a Nigerian daily newspaper.

History[edit]

The Punch newspaper was founded by two friends, James Aboderin, an accountant, and Sam Amuka, a columnist and editor at the Daily Times of Nigeria. Amuka became the first editor of the Sunday Punch. In November 1976, a few years after the first print of its Sunday edition, the duo started printing their trademark daily newspaper. Both editions were designed to favour a friendlier apolitical approach to news reporting, combining footage of social events with everyday political news. The paper sustains itself by delving into broad issues that interest myriad people.[2]

However, during the twilight of the Second Republic, political exigencies had introduced conflicts to its original intentions, Aboderin and Amuka parted ways due partly to political conflicts. Aboderin later secured the support of his former foe, M. K. O. Abiola, after the latter left the NPN. The paper began to take on a political stance, mostly against the Shagari regime. Supposedly, days before the end of the administration of Shagari, a few Punch editors were aware of a coup approaching and injected strong anti-government tones in their reporting.

Press freedom[edit]

The Punch was not immune to the excess of authoritarian regimes in the country. In 1990, its editor was jailed for 54 days. In 1993 and 1994, the publishing house was closed on the direction of the nation's ruler.

The Company[edit]

PUNCH (Nigeria) Limited was registered on August 8, 1970, under the Companies Act of 1968 to engage in the business of publishing newspapers, magazines and other periodicals of public interest. It was designed to perform the tripartite functions of the popular mass media: informing, educating and entertaining Nigerians and the world at large. The company has a Board of Directors, hereinafter referred to as the Board, which is the highest policy-making organ of the company.

Its policies and directives are implemented by a Management team led by the Managing Director (MD) who is the Company's Chief Executive Officer. As a corporate business entity, the company exists to make profit and by doing so, seeks to improve the lot of its owners and employees and also contribute its quota to the country's economic development.[3]

In 1971, the company made its debut with the publication of HAPPY HOME, a glossy family-oriented magazine. Its first editor was Bunmi Sofola. On Sunday, March 18, 1973, its first weekly newspaper, Sunday PUNCH, hit the newsstands. Edited by Ajibade Fashina-Thomas, the newspaper was designed "to give our country a unique Sunday paper which combines the best in serious and popular journalism" with refreshing information and entertainment.

THE PUNCH, a daily tabloid followed on November 1,1976. Designed as "the lively paper for lively mind ", it was to address "most of the shortcomings and obvious inadequacies of the Nigerian newspapers, both old and new" and to be "swingingly elegant as well as socially concerned and seriously responsible". Its pioneer editor was Dayo Wright. However, by the 1980's, the two tabloid had been repackaged to meet the pressing demand of changing political, social and economic needs of their teeming readers.

The journey has not been easy. In its bid to perform its constitutional assigned social responsibilities, the company has been shut several times, and many of its employees harassed and detained by successive military governments.

On April 29, 1990, a week after an attempted coup d'etat against the Federal Military Government, the company was closed down. The closure lasted a month while the then Deputy Editor of THE PUNCH, Chris Mammah, was detained for 54 days. Again in July 1993, The Federal Military Government shut the company's premises, vide Decree No 48 of 1993, and banned all its publications from circulating in the country. The closure followed the political crisis caused by annulment of June 12, 1993, Presidential election.

On November 17 of the same year, the proscription order was repealed vide the Decree No 115 of 1993. The Federal Military Government struck on the July 24, 1994, and proscribed all the titles including TOPLIFE, which had been revived and published as a weekly magazine then. The then editor of THE PUNCH, Bola Bolawole, was detained for three days in his office in the old building. During the closure, the government ignored a court order that it should vacate the premises of the company and also pay the sum of N25 million and N100,000.00 respectively to the company and Bolawole. It was not until October 1,1995 that government de-proscribed the publication vide a national day broadcast by the Head of State. In spite of all these, the company has pledged not to abdicate its responsibilities to the country. The current Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, had on March 22, 1996, at the first Victor Adebamgbe Memorial lecture assured that "the company would continue to emphasize the emergence of a free democratic Nigeria with equal opportunities for all its citizen and all the constituent ethnic groups".

Most widely read newspaper[edit]

For two consecutive years - 1998 and 1999 - the research and marketing services (RMS) Lagos, published independent surveys in which PUNCH was rated as the most widely - read newspaper.

In the current survey, our three titles The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH and Sunday PUNCH are clearly ahead of the rest. PUNCH worked assiduously to attain this position.

PUNCH understands that the RMS survey is widely accepted in the advertising and manufacturing circles for its credibility. If this is so, then we can only hope that the industry will take full advantage of our rating. Because for us, there is only one place we can afford to go up![4]


PUNCH press: Goss Community[edit]

Introduced in 1963, the Goss community began life as a single unit sitting on top of a reel stand. At that time it had a maximum speed of 12,000cph and a cut-off 22.75ins or 578mm. In recent years, enhancement made to the Community included speed and functionality upgrades and the addition of high specification model called magnum. Today, the Community offers a range of cut-offs (546-630mm): four-high configurations; web widths up to 1,000mm and a range of jaw and rotary folder options.

PUNCH's Goss Community was delivered in November 1998. It is capable of producing 30,000(cphs).[5]


This remarkable speed ensures that the company publishes up-to-date news stories, even late breaking-news, and still deliver early enough to newsstands across the country.

The PUNCH press, which has expandable colour units, is capable of printing eight pages of full colour and eight of spot colour at up to 48 pages.

PUNCH offers the best quality colour newspapers not once in a while or weekly, but on a daily basis.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Binniyat, Luka; Akinboade, Laide (20 March 2012). "Peoples Daily presentation: Bankole, Yuguda lampoon Nig. Press". Vanguard. Lagos, Nigeria. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Adigun Agbaje, "Freedom of the Press and Party Politics in Nigeria: Precepts, Retrospect and Prospects", African Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 355, April 1990.
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20031015215403/http://www.punchng.com/aboutus#mission
  4. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20031015215403/http://www.punchng.com/aboutus#mission
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20031015215403/http://www.punchng.com/aboutus#mission

References[edit]

External links[edit]