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Print Media v/s Electronic Media v/s Digital Media in Indian Context

Communication is conveying of message from person to person or in a collective


manner. For proper transferring of messages men folk used to depend on various methods
collectively called as media. Earlier as a means of communication we used to scribble upon
wooden plates and rocks to convey messages to public. Later by the invention of printing
press, pamphlets and newspaper gained prominence. The invention of radio and television
sets in the middle of twentieth century made a boost in mass communication industry. With
the course of time, computer and digital media brought a new face to the communication.
Basically there are three major categories of mass media such as print media,
electronic media and digital media or new media.
Print is the pioneer form of mass media. It is a newspaper, magazine, pamphlets or
tabloids whatever we can hold in our hands and pursue. From the beginning of mass media
industry, newspapers hold a key role. It has undergone various pressures and threats and
survived by its few specialties. Basically print media is much affordable when compared to
other media. Print media allows us to read anytime and can be carried anywhere. The
information content on the print media is static and cannot be quickly changed interactively.
For an individual, especially in rural are, print media is quiet an easy sort of proof for any
information. It is much local to the city or region than the other media. And print media is
relatively easier form of accessibility for public campaigning. When you read newspaper you
can calmly finish reading the news articles, features and editorials and then you can enter a
state of introspection. But the electronic media wont let you think.
Electronic media is electronic devices used to convey information like television sets
or radio. It is second phase and more advanced form of mass media. It introduced more
revenues and job opportunities to the industry. It is featured with more innovative methods
like motion pictures and animation. A variety of options available and people can surf
through channels to channels without any additional payment. It is much fast and very
appropriate for instant polls and reviews. Visual media works better with people having
hearing and seeing disabilities. It can be reached to public as faster and live, thus we can
instantly convey matters of immediate attention such as earthquake and hazardous news or
any announcements. Electronic media provides facility of live transmission could also be
used to connect and communicate between locations where telegraph and telephone wires are
impractical.
The last decade of twentieth century witnessed an emergence of digital media,
includes internet, tablets and smart phones etc. collectively known as new media. The latest
developments in internet and World Wide Web allow integration of audios, videos along with
texts and graphics. This gave us many ways of interaction with the information. The content
is dynamic and special device is used to interpret the digital information from anywhere in
the cosmos. A person can read news about his native land with just having access to
computer or laptop with internet connection. Archival of digital information is cheap and
easier. Almost all newspapers are available in digital form even in mobile phones; almost all
people can afford it.
Invention of e-books like Amazon Kindle brought a substitute to print media. It looks
similar to printed paper. Thus reduced the problem of glary vision and we can carry
thousands of books wherever we want. But it is costly to common folk. The main advantage
of new media is highly interactive.
Media Analysis in Indian Context:
India has thousands of newspapers in various languages, both regional and Hindi. It is
one of the biggest newspaper markets in the world with over 100 million copies sold every
day. There are over 700 channels and 80 among them are news oriented channels. 1780s
witnessed arrival of print media. In 1930s brought radio and later television into Indian arena.
And initial 1990s brought digital information into industry. Indian media is free and
independent throughout the most history. India has an average accessibility to electronic
media and among this 93% is entertainment audience and only 7% are news followers. India
has 68 chore mobile phone connections and 12.4 chore internet users.
Serious analysis of these spectrums put forward numerous reasons that will ensure the
print medias survival in India for a long time. First there is a favorable environment
facilitated with increasing literacy, growing income and good newspapers. Newspaper is the
best consumer value product created till date. In Rs. 3-5 provide enough information to the
reader. As an industry print invested enough to create a newspaper habit among people.
Indian print media is extremely competitive industry and journalists are extremely innovative.
Articles in better magazine and newspapers and magazines are usually written by
professionals and are reviewed by experts whose job is to establish professional accuracy.
According to the social mentality of the nation, people have huge faith in newspapers and
they believe that it portrays more truth rather than electronic and digital media. Print has
more credibility whereas digital media remains as a faceless entity in India. In a country like
India, subscribing newspaper is cheaper than taking an internet connection.
Frequent power failures for long hours are not uncommon in rural India. So there is
no viable replacement for newspaper. According to Indian psychology of middle class and
lower class men folk, they believe that only tangible product can be priced. So there is
reluctance towards digital information. In electronic media, there is no guarantee about
viewership, whereas, a family subscribes to a newspaper would definitely go through it on
daily basis. If we already watched a news story, we will read newspaper next day to gather
more information in depth. Even though we like an article in digital form, we would take a
printout and keep it to read later.
As we mentioned above, digital media is a faceless entity. Anyone can anonymously
post inn digital portals and manipulate the information. Plagiarism at its peak these days.
There are no means to determine which of the two website have authentic information. In the
internet hence the legitimacy of the information becomes questionable. And threat of looping
and surveillance also force us to turn back to print modes of communication as Russia
reestablishes its thousands of typewriters back. There is only 15% of total population is
accessible to internet and majority of them lives in urban area.
The print media organizations in West earned well and also survived during the
television boom. But they failed because they heavily invested in news rooms and did not
manage the operation and were not able to regionalize.
Changes in technology demand an increase and development of both print and
electronic media. It is true that there is now a strong move against electronic media, and long
term predictions point 50:50 ratios between print and electronic media. However, it is
appropriate to conclude with a few statements made in the past spoke against the spread of
print. About 1920 we said radio will replace print. Later in 1950s we assumed that television
is going to kill newspaper. In 1980, computer believed to wipe out print. At last we said,
digital media is perfect substitute for print. And time proved as they were glaringly incorrect.

(Ajmal Aramam, New Delhi, India -ajmalaramam@gmail.com)