The fate of print media in the aftermath of COVID-19 attack

The fate of print media in the aftermath of COVID-19 attack

Written By: / Editorial / Tuesday, 30 June 2020 16:31

Among other sectors of the society we live today, what has been tremendously affected by the novel coronavirus is the media industry particularly the print media. Since March this year, the circulation figure of almost all major newspapers in the country has been reduced giving heat to the running of the media industries. A similar phenomenon also happens across the globe. As in India, there are reports of giant media houses closing down its subsidiary publications and had closed dozens of jobs leaving many journalists jobless.
The advent of new generation media with the advancement of internet technology had already given hardship to the running of the print media before the invasion by the novel coronavirus. Most global media houses like the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street journal etc. have already plan to go online publication and similar planning are also taken up by giant Indian print media houses. Will the changes that have been taking place to the fate of print journalism a doomsday for print media? This is one topic that Imphal Times would like to discuss with media icons who have years of experience in the field.
Before we started taking expert opinions, Imphal Times felt it necessary to highlight the journey of the print media which happens to be in a thorny street. The history of print media in India began with the publication of the first English newspaper ‘Bengal Gazette’ in 1780 by James Augustus Hicky. Since then newspapers became a tool for both those ruling the state as well as for those who are critical of the ruling regime. Point wanted to remind us that since that times newspaper has been considered as the significant organ of Indian society, even as it has been accepted and agreed by the well advanced western countries much ahead of India. Now when electronic media radio came to India for the first time in India in 1936, MV Gopalaswami set up his private radio station and started transmission as ‘Akashvani’. This was later adopted as All India Radio on-air name in 1957. That was the time when those in the print media started worrying about the fate of print media. Later, after Television came on the scene, Marshal MacLuhan prophesied the doom of the print media. There has never been hold to the advancement of Technologies, and finally from black and white television comes the colour television which has been followed by multiple news channels and many media experts felt the same with the idea of Marshal MacLuhan. But the prophecies turn wrong. No electronic media including the television or the radio could be replaced or uproot the print media. The reality was that the print media have built their niche in society and their role or providing exhaustive and interpretive information cannot be completely taken away by electronic media. That was a time when the new generation internet depended on Information technology and other social media which can connect persons living at the opposite side of the globe within a second.
The Radio, the Television, the telegram, the wire service that have been disseminating information all rely on the print media until the internet medium of media came into existence.
The already troubled print media was once more hit by the novel coronavirus affecting its circulation and forcing them to close down certain subsidiary publications by laying off journalists who were working on it. This was due to the decline in the income of the media houses.
Now the next generation of media is going to be dependent on the internet. Web portal news sites are the hopes of future media. Having said so one has to remember is that it is just the change of channel/medium – from paper to mobile, laptop, tablet, or desktop screen that will be replacing. Traditional marketing perceptions for running a newspaper will remain no longer applicable and a new concept of marketing for the web portal news has to be discovered and utilized.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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