Birth of digital media: Will newspapers disappear in the future?

In 2019, the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) has proposed commemorating the National Newspaper Reading Day on September 25th to promote reading habits in the country with particular emphasis on newspaper reading in a bid to support the survival of the newspapers.

The main purpose of commemorating this day is to attract the youth to read the newspaper in the age of digital media as the trend of reading newspapers is declining.

Selection of 25th September

The selection of September 25th is related to the publication of the first multi-page newspaper Publick Occurrences from America in 1690.

The APNS said that to encourage and inculcate awareness amongst the youth of the country, different activities and competitions will be arranged in universities and educational institutions to promote reading habits.

The APNS member publications would also take steps to alert the youth on the benefits of newspaper reading in the rush routine of lives.

In this regard, the federal and provincial ministries of information and education are being requested for cooperation in celebrating this day in a befitting manner.

Across the country, the press clubs, women NGOs and social activists would also be requested to take part in the process to support the youth in this regard.

Newspaper readership in decline

According to reports, Newspapers in developed countries are in slow decline and must concentrate on being useful to readers and advertisers rather than on filling their pages with politics.

While noting that the trend of declining sales matches the rise of television, the report by the Academy of Moral and Political Science said People are reading fewer and fewer newspapers, in developed countries while the political press is dying as television has become the main source in the age of digital media.

Newspapers were a critical part of the Pakistan news landscape, however, they have been hit hard as more and more Pakistanis consume news digitally. The industry’s financial fortunes and subscriber base have been in decline since 2001, and website audience traffic, after some years of growth, has leveled off.

The electronic media in Pakistan saw a boom in the market, wherein one-decade television channels increased drastically from low level to high, simultaneously giving birth to the five big media organizations that own major media outlets of the country.

Birth of digital media and newspapers

It is not a surprise that newspapers have been failing in the past few decades. The birth of the internet manifested numerous different ways companies, groups, and individuals could reach out to others. News outlets saw the internet as a new opportunity.

Media outlets grew profits by giving out the news through online articles through the internet because it was the cheapest and quickest way to make a buck.

As a result, newspaper sales declined dramatically. Nobody seemed interested in reading paper printed news anymore; it seemed tedious and a waste of money.

With the use of the internet, however, all of that has changed. Readers can now read an article with a click on a mouse or a tap on a screen without having to waste countless pieces of paper and risking paper cuts. There are more reasons for the decline in newspapers, though, for good reasons and bad.

In recent years, the decline has dazed several journalists as readers do not seem too interested in reading papers. The reason is that internet access, advertising, corporate ownership, and social media are playing as vast contributors to the decline in newspaper production.

Social media has been a turning point for all news, including how it is conveyed and how people interpret the news on social media podiums.

People are now able to record what they see and hear by posting on their walls about an event that has occurred. Social media networking sites particularly, Facebook and Twitter allow people to talk to each other as things happen in real-time.

Electronic media and print media

There is no doubt that we are living in an era that is constantly governed around electronic media. All around the globe, electronic media has a strong influence on the decisions that political powers take.

After the swift investment in electronic media in the recent past, Pakistan now has several media houses that are running channels 24/7.

Electronic media is gaining more popularity these days. In the early days, people depended on newspapers when there was no other source of news and information and sometimes got to know about facts quite late.

Electronics media has replaced print with better and fast-flowing news and information. Those who cannot read can watch and listen to the news broadcast on television and radio respectively.

We may say that electronic media is trying to fully take over the print media these days; however, we cannot close our eyes to print media as well. Print media in every form has its own importance and prominence which cannot be replaced by anyone else.

Today, there is a tight competition between the newspaper and the electronic medium and this competition among different newspapers are also increasing day by day which has made the print media cheaper, qualitative, informative and fast.

The print media always is accurate information in detail. Experience and well-qualified journalists are successful in presenting information in an analytic manner, which helps the reader to be clear about the facts and the subjects and also create their interest to read further.

What we generally see on TV is only the highlights and a lot of glamorized versions. Nevertheless, for detailed information, we go through newspapers, which give it in a broader manner about any matter or happenings.

We cannot disagree over the fact that the utility of print media will always remain informative to help a man to progress in his life. Print media covers all possible major and minor information sources and highlights even national and international events.

Parents should make their children accustomed to reading because the newspaper provides what we do not get from TV or digital media. Both electronic and print media have their own significance and usefulness and the importance and usefulness of print media is still appreciated centuries later.

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