Congratulations to Indian Newslink on the 16th Anniversary of its establishment and first publication.
Launched in 1999, it is now in its second century of publication!
It is a tribute to the paper’s Editor and General Manager Venkat Raman that the paper has grown and thrived.
I would also like to acknowledge Ravin Lal as the past owner and Jacob Mannothra who took over ownership of Indian Newslink in June this year. Their commitment to investing in a quality publication with high standards of journalism content, design and production has been outstanding.
It is not an easy time to be publishing. A century ago, newspapers were not simply the primary means of disseminating news and advertising goods and services for sale. They were the only means.
From the 20th century, newspapers have had to adapt to competition from electronic media, first radio and then television.
Today newspapers have their greatest challenge yet, which is digitalisation of the media and the ability to download news as it happens from websites including Facebook and Twitter. Many people today simply do not buy or read newspapers.
Newsroom staff numbers, both for newspapers and radio and television, have been slashed. Journalists have been required to become multimedia, writing articles for print and the web and posting videos as well as writing stories.
We should welcome rather than resist technology. Digital media has huge benefits of being able almost instantly to provide information about events.
In my view, however, there remains an important place in the world for print media.
Having the news in hard copy remains the preference for many people and the ability of the print media to provide in depth and considered analysis of the issues of the day continues to be important.
Electronic media and social media may be instant but most often they do not provide the investigative and deep analysis which is necessary to set out the arguments for more detailed consideration.
The media has a vital role to play in our society. It informs, it entertains and it functions as the so-called ‘Fourth Estate,’ scrutinising the actions of those who exercise power, holding them to account and exposing improper actions or corruption.
Vital for Democracy
These are roles that are vital to the proper functioning of a democracy.
As consumers and citizens, we benefit from having a variety of media outlets to carry out these functions.
Change continues at a more rapid pace than at any other time in our history. It will continue to put pressure on existing media channels to adapt in response to what people want in news and entertainment. That is the nature of the world we live in today.
Indian Newslink came into existence just as digital media was becoming an integral part of the world in which we live.
That it has continued to attract readership reflects the quality of reporting and its close involvement in local events and the lives of the growing Indian community in New Zealand.
I wish it well for the next 16 years!
Phil Goff is former Foreign Affairs, Trade and Justice Minister and has been Member of Parliament for 35 years. Elected from Mt Roskill, he is today Labour Party’s Spokesperson for Ethnic Communities and Auckland Issues.