ALAROYE, the first publication of World Information Agents Limited, has become a stable tabloid on Nigeria news stand since July 1996. It was the fourth attempt.
In May 1985, and at the age of 25, Alao Adedayo, a Yoruba newsreader with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) tried his hand on publishing. The foray resulted in ALAROYE. Between May and October of the year, four editions of the paper came out. Though meant to be a weekly, it became staggered publication because it was a one-man’s idea. No partner was willing to support or venture into the business as Yoruba newspapering was seen as a barren land. Naturally, it died.
Further effort was made in 1990, but the newspaper could not get to the vendors, though published. It was to be launched so that some fund could be raised. On the day of the launching, a prominent member of the community who was a friend of both the chief launcher and chairman died. The community was thrown into mourning and no one remembered the launch of a newspaper.
1994 was the year that Alao Adedayo became convinced that ALAROYE would one day emerge a success story. For four weeks, it came out consecutively, and was well accepted. Thorough professionalism had by now been added, and ALAROYE met the standard of a newspaper. But it could not thrive; the Publisher could not raise the required fund. And it went to sleep again. For two years, it slept.
But on 2 July 1996, ALAROYE woke up and became a big name in the Nigerian newspaper industry, though a vernacular tabloid. It came out when there was gab to be filled in the industry, and was widely accepted because there had never been anything like it.
This was not a happen stance, but a planned revolution in the newspaper industry in Nigeria. No vernacular newspaper has been so successful because most of the earlier issues were transcription of English newspapers or repetition of news items already carried on radio and television.
Thorough analysis, research works and investigative journalism put the newspaper on a very high pedestal. It informs educates, entertains and analyses events as they unfold through the Yoruba culture. Woven around this culture, it becomes another way of life within the same culture. For this, it circulates more than most of English newspapers in Nigeria with the print run sometimes as high as 150,000 copies per week. It can be seen wherever the Yoruba are domiciled.
In Nigeria, particularly among the Yorubas, ALAROYE is a language. It is the culture.