In spite of aggressive emergence of new or social media and television across the globe, print media in Asia is growing extensively and will do so on account of various factors.
These are some of the highlights from speakers at the plenary held by International Association of Media and Communications Research (IACMR) in collaboration with CMS in HICC Hyderabad on July 19, 2014. The Panel speakers who included referred to various models in vogue in Asian countries and the way various political organizations and celebrities are making good use of the social and print media in recent times.
India’s pioneer in media research, Dr N Bhaskara Rao, founder Chairman of New Delhi based Centre for Media Studies(CMS) elaborated on the resilience of print media in India specially the regional media. He explained since proliferation of news channels in Andhra Pradesh in the last decade, nearly two million additional circulation has been generated and the number of Telugu dailies too have increased. The extent of migration away from print is minimal but gain is much more, particularly of first time readers. This was possible because of appetizer effect of news bulletins, their more of the same content priorities and preemptive nature of reporting. He quoted CMS research since 1990 in support.
Dr Bhaskara Rao, indicated eight peculiar conditions unique to India which facilitate Persistence of news papers, not with standing growth of television and new media. He however felt that deliberate efforts have to be made to realise the potential for print in India. While competitive compulsions and corporationalisation helps print media positively, cross media ownership and monopolisation beyond would not, Dr Rao argued.
Mr Saddarth Vardarajan, former Editor of the Hindu and an eminent journalist also spoke in this panel. He opined that print media is more about business models than about journalism. The very cheap price of newspapers in India (less than the production cost) is the very genesis of the fall of this form of journalism. He spoke of the allied business of media groups and dependence on advertising for survival.
Mr Vardarajan He also felt that advertising has not moved away from print because the television and internet business models are yet to be more accountable. He opined that responsible editorial gate keeping is still the main reason for the credibility of news content of newspapers. As new technologies emerge and new challenges influence this printed form of media, the main challenge will still be on the investment on news gathering and editorial gate keeping to maintain relevance.
The panel had a Chinese Scholar Dr. Debao Xiang from Shanghai University who shared how there are three distinct players in the media ecosystem – government, commercial and public media. He explained how media organizations reinvented themselves with the available technologies like they started web applications like messages and rss feed that are now quite popular- even larger than pint version subscription.
The Bangladesh scholar Shudipta Sharma from Chittagong University shared that the newspapers are increasing in numbers and circulations inspite of new media presence because of increasing literacy rates and also cross media ownership. However, new media is slowly catching up and newspapers will have to find more ways to maintain their relevance. Most newspapers have already have adopted online for digital distribution of their news.
This session was attended by more than 200 scholars, students and media professionals from various countries attending IAMCR. It concluded with active interaction with the audience and the panelists.
IAMCR is a preeminent worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research. The University of Hyderabad (UoH) and the English and Foreign Language University (EFLU), are jointly hosting the IAMCR 2014 at Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC), Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh from July 15 to 19, 2014. About 900 delegates from 80 countries attended this conference. http://iamcr2014.org