Issue 361 January 15, 2017
In his article titled, ‘Social media challenges readership values,’ published in Indian Newslink 16th Anniversary Special (November 15, 2015), Commonwealth Foundation Chairman and Former New Zealand Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand said that the print medium is facing enormous challenges and that they must constantly evolve to retain their circulation and relevance.
His article was a stark reminder to the fact that Social Media has taken over its conventional and senior counterpart- print journalism. It was also a reminder that all other forms of communication, which were dubbed ‘reminder media’ have now become mainstream.
This is what we say every day in our offices: It is becoming increasingly difficult to break news.”
Sir Anand said, “With increasing community use of radio, television and the internet, not only by means of computers but by tablets and cell phones, the first port of call for people to obtain news and opinion is becoming less and less the newspaper which suggests that the print medium will need to adapt in order to survive. There is already experience of many newspapers becoming as active on the web as they are on paper.”
The experience of prominent and giant dailies of the world has proved that social media has not only invaded newsrooms and destroyed them. Every person who writes on Facebook, Twitter or such other social media is today a writer or what Sir Anand called, ‘subscribers to citizens’ journalism.’
Will printed newspapers cease to exist?
We do not believe so.
But we do believe that this is a wakeup call to journalists and newspapers to be adaptive, and get back to their erstwhile role of being purveyors (rather than creators) of news, be balanced in their reporting and provide a common platform for all to share their views and feelings. They would be required to shun their partisan approach, embrace multiculturalism and promote younger members of the communities in which they operate.
Our Educationlink in this issue carries a Massey University research which indicates that vinyl records are making a comeback and people will soon enjoy soft and mellifluous music that was the norm until the 1970s.
On that score, we are confident that the reading habit will return in its true sense with people holding printed newspapers on hand rather than small screens.
As Sir Anand said, “What is certain is that print must change shape in response to social, cultural, environmental and technological forces that have seen radical changes to the ways that people want to receive their news.
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