After a meeting with the Chairmen of the Board of Directors of the National Newspapers and a number of private press editors, Egypt’s National Press Agency (NPA) has agreed to a price hike of up to 100% on all newspaper prices in Egypt, including both government-owned and private papers. The new prices are set to take effect on September 1st.

This comes as a result of the increasingly staggering prices of printing paper and ink, as well as issues pertaining to lacklustre distribution and a stark lack of proper advertisement utilisation.

Unfortunately for the head of the Egyptian Press Syndicate and Chairman of Al-Ahram, Abdel-Mohsen Salama, the government isn’t too keen on subsidising paper prices, regardless of its vital role (it’s paper) in the newspaper industry. “We are in a critical situation,” Salama said, “We need to save the press industry as it’s an instrument of enlightenment in society.”

As it stands, daily national newspapers cost EGP 2, and with the price hike, you’re looking at EGP 3, with weekly papers going up to EGP 4. You might think these are laughable prices to begin with, but with the rapid disinterest in printed news, a strained (but steadily improving) economy, and the cumulative costs of printing and distribution, it may very well be the “kiss of death for Egypt’s print journalism,” as our stalwart friends at Enterprise Press put it.

Speaking of things that don’t go on paper; we don’t use any paper, and we do news, a lot of it, so much. So if you’re in the market for riveting Egypt-infused pieces on the regular, stay tuned to old happy-go-lucky CairoScene.

Main image from THEAsiaN