The Lao News Agency has announced that the last issue of its English language newspaper will roll off the presses on December 31, ending more than 10 years of publication of the daily KPL News.
But the newspaper will not disappear as readers can go online for their daily news instead of reading the printed version.
The Editorial Board of the state-owned newspaper issued a notice informing readers, subscribers and advertisers that it will cease publication of the newspaper from January 1 onwards.
Director General of the Lao News Agency, Sounthone Khanthavong, said the newspaper was no longer profitable so they had decided to cut costs and dispense with the printed edition.
He said an online version would be more convenient for readers and pointed to the growing trend in online reading.
We decided to switch to an online service as it’s more modern, he told Vientiane Times .
The decision to end the print edition of KPL News means the Vientiane Times, another daily English language newspaper published by Lao Press in Foreign Languages, will be the only English language newspaper in the country.
A member of the KPL News’ Editorial Board, Sengthong Prasavath, said the online news service would be free of charge.
Established in 1968, the Lao News Agency published daily bulletins in Lao, English and French. Some years later it upgraded the bulletins into daily newspapers, also published in Lao and English, Mr Sounthone said.
In 2003, the English bulletin became a daily newspaper and was also published in French. Last year, the print version of the French newspaper ceased and the content was published online.
Mr Sounthone confirmed that the Lao News Agency would continue to publish its Lao language newspaper, the Pathetlao Daily.
The Lao News Agency delivers news via the Pathetlao Daily, news releases, a magazine, online news, and a short message service (SMS) on mobile phones.
Many printed newspapers and magazines both in Laos and abroad have suffered a decline in circulation as readers turn their attention to social and online media.
A few years ago, Laos’ weekly French language magazine Le Renovateur published by the Lao Press in Foreign Languages ceased to exist in its printed form and has since been published online after suffering a decline in readership and profits.
Earlier this year, the Brunei Darussalam broadsheet, the Brunei Times, announced its closure 10 years after its inception in 2006. The publishers cited reporting and journalistic standards as well as business issues as reasons for its termination, especially in the face of considerable challenges from alternative forms of media.
Source: Vientiane Times