OTHER - 28 DEC 2020

How Stears Business' journalists produced their top 2020 articles

How Stears Business' journalists produced their top 2020 articles
Light bulb moments. Source: AbsolutVision via Unsplash

Its been a great year for the Stears Business newsroom. Since we started writing premium articles in April, we have published over 150 exciting stories. 

To end the year, we wanted to give our subscribers the chance to know our newsroom better. So, we asked each journalist to pick their top articles of the year and share some insights into how they were created. 
 

Journalist: Fisayo Okare 

 

1. TV News Media: Overregulated and Underfunded

 

 

In this piece, I got to reflect on what I studied back in school and dug into the business of the only Nigerian media house listed on the stock exchange.

What inspired you to write it? The EndSARS protests and the public criticism of TV media houses inspired this one. 

Where did you write it? On my bed, to begin with, trying to think of a solid intro!

What food gave you the energy to write it? I ate bread anyhow during the lockdown, but found creative ways to make it. So I had a toasted sandwich (boiled egg, butter, with sprinkles of cinnamon), and cinnamon tea.

What three songs did you listen to while writing? This Land is Your Land (Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings), Fickle Game (Amber Run), Conquer (Rivvrs). 

Read the full article here

 

2. DStv prices vs Nigerians: Unbundling the business of broadcast

 

 

I admired this one like a painting when I was done; I really love the writing style of this article. Also, I can say that it was a never-written-before piece for Nigerians to understand the pay-TV space.

What inspired you to write it?  Nigerians and our lawmakers like to fight Dstv. The operator is dominant, yes, but rationalising their business model and pricing structure (properly) is rarely done during these debates.

Where did you write it?  My mum’s bed (Haha. You’d even notice from the intro). I changed rooms anyhow during the lockdown for inspiration).

What food gave you the energy to write it? Another thing I learnt how to do well during the lockdown was how to combine food remnants in the fridge. So, for this, I had left-over Moi-Moi, the bottom part of bread, and Coke.

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Thin (Aquilo), February 3rd (Jorja Smith), Unbound (Cathedrals).

Read the full article here.

 

3. E-commerce in Nigeria: The offline story of tricky logistics

 

 

For me, this article encapsulated what it meant to work at Stears Business: journalistic rigour, and in-depth analysis. 

What inspired you to write it? The rise in e-commerce operations, just as lockdown began around April, created a façade around the difficulty of executing an e-commerce business in a country like Nigeria.

Where did you write it? Three months into lockdown, I finally got a study table. 

What food gave you the energy to write it? Dry Indomie. (My dinner was always lit though.)

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Territory (The Blaze), Run (Vallis Alps), Sadness is a Shade of Blue (Låpsley).

Read the full article here.

 

Journalist: Abubakar Idris

 

1. A tasty trillion: Nigeria’s attractive food delivery business

 

 

Writing this article was a lot of fun. I got a chance to understand the business model powering a sector that had just been accelerated by the pandemic.

What inspired you to write it? I was really fascinated at how UberEats and similar companies abroad were taking a swipe at the food delivery space. I wanted to see what the Nigerian companies were up to.

Where did you write it?  In my house, inspired by another late food delivery order.

What food gave you the energy to write it? Crispy fried chicken from Chicken Republic. Lol.

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Brown Skin Girl (Beyonce and Wizkid), Scars to your beautiful (Alessia Cara), Laugh Now Cry Later (Drake).

Read the full article here.

 

2. Cross border payments in Nigeria: Are we there yet?

 

 

Every six months I go on Twitter to rant at how hard it is to send money into and out of Nigeria; so of course, when I got my shot, I wrote this.

What inspired you to write it? Four years ago, when I worked as a freelancer on Fiverr, receiving payment for my work was a struggle.

Where did you write it?  In my house again, this time on my bed.

What food gave you the energy to write it?  Junk food because I mostly write in the night.

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Forever (Chike), 23 (Burna Boy), and Essence (Wizkid and Tems).

Read the full article here.

 

3. Netflix and Showmax chase growth in Africa’s 215 million homes

 

 

After watching how Multichoice significantly improved its streaming technology over the last 18 months, I wanted to assess how it was going head-on in the African streaming market with Netflix.

What inspired you to write it? Netflix and Multichoice have been throwing a lot of resources to crack the African market, and I just wanted more people to see what their strategy was designed to achieve.

Where did you write it? On my chair, my window blinds raised and my legs on my burglary.

What food gave you the energy to write it? Amala and vegetable soup was the perfect combo as I watched movies during my “research”.

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Can’t Relate (Omah Lay), In the Still of the Night (The Five Satins), and Damages (Tems).

Read the full article here.

 

Journalist: Osato Guobadia

 

1. Private equity in Nigeria: Replicating Manchester United's model

 

 

I had fun talking to private equity professionals and writing this piece. It was also relatively easy to find relatable elements to use to tell the story. From Manchester United to the Palms Shopping Mall, PE money was almost everywhere. 

What inspired you to write it? Yvette, our Product Manager, looked into her crystal ball and told the newsroom that there was demand for a story on Private Equity. I snatched the opportunity. 

Where did you write it? Outdoors at the Wings Complex in VI, sipping coffee while looking over the lagoon. 

What food gave you the energy to write it? A croissant and a frappuccino. 

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Juju on that beat (Zay Hilfigger), Aisha (Cheb Khaled), Planes (Jeremih ft J.Cole).

Read the full article here.

 

2. Powering up rural Nigeria: The grass-to-grace story of Rokota village

 

 

What inspired you to write it? I was writing this story after the events of October 2020. I needed a pick-me-up story. I felt our readers needed one too. So, I told this feel-good story about successful efforts to provide electricity in rural Nigeria.

Where did you write it? In my study. 

What food gave you the energy to write it? My delicious Indomie-and-Sausage combo. 

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Burna boy’s Twice-as-tall album was on repeat. 

Read the full article here.

 

3. Police reform: Ideas for Nigeria

 

 

What inspired you to write it? Too often in Nigeria, governments make policies based on what sounds good in the moment. Rarely do we use data and other countries’ experiences to inform policy. Back when it was looking like the government might be serious about police reform, I wrote this to show that efforts such as merely increasing police salaries (although welcome) will not solve the problem. 

Where did you write it? In my room. Took a break from my vacation to finish this important story. 

What food gave you the energy to write it? Pancakes and sausages.  

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Cry me a River remix (Justin Timberlake ft. 50 Cents), Mafo (Naira Marley), See dem fake leaders (Ziggy Marley).

Read the full article here.

 

Journalist: Gbemisola Alonge 

 

1. It’s 2021, a Covid-19 vaccine is ready, what next for Nigeria?

 

 

This is my all-time favourite because I enjoyed experimenting with my writing—writing about the future like it was the present and shading the Nigerian government was fun. 

What inspired you to write it? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine preliminary testing results had been released and I saw this article by the Economist and decided to try the writing style.

Where did you write it? My usual workspace, at the corner of my bedroom.

What food gave you the energy to write it? My bomb chicken and egg sandwich (sprinkled with suya pepper) Yum!

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Pillowtalk (Zayn), Do you (Sarkodie ft Mr. Eazi), Koko Mmtswale (Dj Sunco & Queen Jenny)

Read the full article here.

 

2. From Yaba to Silicon Valley: how universities change their host cities

 

 

 

This was an interesting piece to write because I felt like I entered into a world of possibilities that don’t currently exist. It’s a hopeful piece. 

What inspired you to write it? My fellow "FJ" (Financial Journalist), Abubakar Idris had asked if universities offered anything to their host cities and I gave him a 2401-word answer :)

Where did you write it? My work table, in my living room.

What food gave you the energy to write it? Indomiiien

What three songs did you listen to while writing? I want you to know (Zedd ft Selena Gomez), Lonely (Justin Bieber), Blinding lights (The Weeknd). 

Read the full article here.

 

 

3. The silent success of sesame seeds in Nigeria 

 

 

This article felt like I had discovered a gold mine in Nigeria. 

What inspired you to write it? Sesame seeds had popped up in several trade reports and most of the information I got on the internet was not very thorough, so I decided to search for it as a gift. 

Where did you write it? At my parents’, next to my daddy. 

What food gave you the energy to write it? Amala, ewedu and chicken (fave!)

What three songs did you listen to while writing? Pieces (Bethel Music), Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps album (Fireboy)

Read the full article here.

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