Circulation of 20 out of 28 daily newspapers in Africa declined in the past year, according to the latest report of the South African based Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).
However, eight dailies, including the New Vision and its Luganda language sister paper, Bukedde, registered growth, ABC stated.
ABC's main function is to certify and provide accurate and comparable circulation figures to assist advertisers,marketers and publishers in buying and selling of advertising and promotional material.
The bureau was set up by law in South Africa on agreement between advertisers, advertising agencies and media owners.
According to ABC, New Vision grew to a daily circulation of 34,559 from 33,313 registered in the previous corresponding period. Bukedde grew from 31,128 copies sold daily to 32,223 daily.
ABC indicated that these two are the only growing papers in Uganda. Their closest competitor, Daily Monitor, dropped almost 2,000 copies from 22,531 to 20,673 copies daily.
The Daily Nation (Kenya), registered a marginal drop from 179,091 to 178,342, while Taifa Leo of Kenya grew almost 15%. The decline was mostly noticed in South Africa.
Some of the big dailies such as the Star dropped by almost 30,000 copies from 136,552 to 105,686. The Vision Group chief commercial officer, Tony Glencross, attributed the growth in New Vision and Bukedde to the good news content and innovations.
For Bukedde, Glencross said, editorial pages were increased and the focus is mostly on the local content that relates to the local people.
"The paper is people-driven. People see themselves there. It is not only full of celebrities. We have actual readers in the paper," Glencross said.
According to him, local language newspapers are finding their footing in society. "There is success of the local media which appeals to the audience. The growth of that audience prompted the Vision Group to launch a second channel of Bukedde TV to cater for the unique needs of each of the population segments."