LOCAL NEWSPAPERS covering the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej have become precious keepsakes for Thais. All issues were sold out within a few hours.
Chai Arporn, a store at Lat Phrao Intersection, one of the busiest areas of Bangkok, told The Nation that on October 14, the morning after the national tragedy, customers flocked in to purchase newspapers with stories and photos about the departure of the “Father of the Nation”.
“After we opened at around 6am, about 400 to 500 issues of popular daily newspapers including Thai Rath and Daily News were sold out before 10am. It was unbelievable,” said Chakkrit Takuchiwavit, son of the owner of Chai Arporn.
When he realised that the newspapers would be very valuable keepsakes for the stores customers, Chakkrit decided to order 200 more issues from the publishers for the following day. All of them were also completely sold out within a few hours.
Even though some major publishers reprinted some of the most requested issues and to produce special editions, over-demand still ruled the market.
“I heard that the publisher of Daily News planned to reprint and distribute the special issue [originally published on October 14] yesterday.
“However, I have to wait one more day because the publisher could not give us our quota as a result of high demand,” he explained.
Some of the top executives of major newspaper publishers could not be reached by The Nation, while some declined to comment on this matter.
However, according to the Rajdamnern Book Facebook page run by the Thai Journalists Association, the publisher of Thai Rath, the country’s largest daily newspaper, decided to republish its October 14 issue after receiving orders for more than 20,000 copies. Matichon Group is also preparing to produce special issues.
Nation Multimedia Group (NMG) is also to publish 100,000 special copies of Nation Weekend magazine in remembrance of His Majesty the King. As well, NMG publications The Nation, Krungthep Turakij and Kom Chad Luek will offer free downloads of digital editions.
Than Setthakij will provide free copies of its October 16-19 digital editions.
Post Publishing is also offering a made-to-order service for its subscribers who want reprints of each front page, with a charge of Bt1,950 per issue.
An industry insider told The Nation that it was believed that all titles of local newspapers had become rare items and out of stock since October 14.
According to IPG Media-brands, Thai Rath is the biggest player in terms of daily circulation with 1 million issues daily, followed by Khaosod with 950,000, Kom Chad Luek and Matichon with 900,000 each and Daily News with 850,000.
In the business-oriented |category, Post Today claims a |circulation of 320,000 issues a day while Manager Daily has 300,000 and Krungthep Turakij produces 200,000. The mid-weekly editions including Than Setthakij and Prachachat Turakij claimed 120,000 per round.
Of the two English-language daily newspapers, Bangkok Post’s daily circulation is about 70,000 while The Nation’s is around 68,000.
Somsak Kiatchailak, deputy director-general of th Commerce Ministry’s Internal Trade Department, said paper and ink stocks were adequate to meet |the higher demand during this time.