Standing witnessing a drastic evolution in the way

 

Standing
by Jim Morrison’s words, “Whoever controls the media controls the mind”, we
have been witnessing a drastic evolution in the way news is presented in the in
the digital world. With India accounting for one of the largest social media
users in the world, few publications are adeptly taking “Social” media by the
storm to have an edge over others as technology, social media and big data are
playing a key role in connecting with the audience. Gone are those days, when a
politician could live from one election to the next without bothering to engage
the citizenry of his constituency., or the days when a business house could get
away without consulting their investors and consumers. An increasingly
demanding citizen population seeks a more responsive representation from the
elected representatives. This necessitates a constant participation of the
electorate, being sensitive to their sentiments and acting accordingly to
deliver their expectations

 

The great industrial revolution coupled with technological advancement
has led to an amalgamation of local, national, and international news. It has moved
beyond the realm of concert reviews puzzles, obituaries etc.  .and paving way for something more concrete.
Fast paced unabashed growth of internet has been giving the traditional print
media nightmares .Already trying to grapple with fall in business print media
has drowned in the tsunami of online content which is easily accessible to
people at large, thanks to the  reduced
broadband tariff’ Also the infinite number of mediums available online break
the news faster than it happens ,compared to print which carries the news the
next day y the time its’ already stale news .Also to sustain their relationship
with advertisers, and last bid attempt to survive many mainlines and second
rung newspapers are moving towards digital platforms. In this model the users
get to view fixed number of articles for free after which they have to pay a monthly
subscription fee for unlimited access.

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What has changed?

 

Enter social media. We no longer wait
for the ‘breaking news’ to appear in the papers next day. News keeps breaking
on social media as and when it happens, and the journalists and editors are
scrambling to be part of this news for the fear of lagging behind and losing
their exclusivity. As business line aptly puts their transition to e –paper as
“”Great things happen when
breaking news, you go beyond”

This new age media has created an era
where the movers and the shakers have achieved online celebrity status
overnight by amassing beeline of followers, who believe every word they say.

Today’s
media understand this changing landscape and use multimedia to round off
coverages. To increase viewership and engagement practitioners are also
including videos and photos that tell the story in an instant.

 

Reason
for migration

 

Publishers
who have been in refutation about the digital transformation are having to face
their worst fears as the major funders of newsprint –the advertisers are
retreating   Battling dipping sales is another glitch they
are facing.  Local and regional
publications have been facing this heat for some time now. Nationals were in a
better position …till now.

 

 

So what makes the online papers more appealing that the media
houses are moving to pay wall/subscription model.

 

Its
more convenient-one can have access to news anytime and from anywhere. besides
it brings the breaking news at the focal point of the webpage, meaning one doesn’t
have to scan pages for the news they want to read. In an age where people are racing
against time and want things to happen at the click of a button, no reason why
newspapers should be lagging behind.

 

Another
advantage of the online version is the easy accessibility to old issues, at the
click of a button.

 

Print
version of papers are closed on festivals and special occasions, but online
version is always available as they are continuous publication.

 

Besides
for the tech savvy generation online newspapers come in convenient format, with
additional features which allow the user to switch between text and image formats,
save articles for future read or use, share insightful articles on social media,
etc.

 

But
all this convenience comes at a cost. The subscription or pay wall model allows
the online users to choose from various subscription offers, after the free
trial period is over.

 

Points
to Ponder-

It’s
about time the print industry   answers a
few fundamental questions like who pays for news and why? Similarly, people who
don’t pay for news and why not? What is the way forward for the titles whereby
they can increase engagement of the readers? The answer to these questions will
shape the future of journalism. They must also consider two pronged strategy of
digital and print version for the foreseeable future, and work alongside to improvise
their strategy.

 

As Thomasine F-R. said –  it is more democratic for the media to be
available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to
make a contribution so others with less means still have access to information.