News media has been an integral part of the lives of the general public for centuries now. We have seen news take different forms to reach us and increase its sphere of influence- be it the introduction of social media or the boom in the amount of content available online.
Malcolm X, a human rights activist, rightly said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”
Print media has not only turned colourful but also started using catchy words and phrases in its headlines. Over the years, it has been observed that the terms used in headlines have also changed. From being affirmative phrases, they have become more intriguing, attracting the attention of people.
News in newspapers is segmented into city, national, international, science and discovery, business and the old-time favourite – the sports news. However, the well-received sports page retains its position in the last pages, therefore letting all sports lovers to read from the end.
In metropolitan cities, especially: Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, the page 3 culture is a separate segment dedicated to the upper-class societies. The then managing director of Times of India, Vineet Jain said in an interview that Page 3 is dedicated to the glitterati. They are the movers and shakers of the world of entertainment from Hollywood to Bollywood. “Page 3 serves as an inspiring model for those who want to be like the celebrities. Page 3 has become an obsession to the reader,” he added. From readers’ choices, astrology and fashion (including kids’ fashion) are a part of the daily print media. It may be in a tabloid form of a newspaper or the regular newspaper with an All India circulation.
There are some segments in the newspapers dedicated to Kids activities, education and careers every week, which makes the newspaper-reading more wholesome.
Financial newspapers have also included book reviews and topics on life, heritage, weaves of India, travel, and how the world of advertisement is changing the consumer interest. These subjects have become a Sunday brunch for avid readers.
Many readers have moved to apps for reading the news. But many also say that the routine of a good morning mug of coffee or tea along with a newspaper sets the tone of the day on a new high. This daily habit cannot be replaced by any online services.
Many still prefer the print media even though most of the European countries and the United States saw a drastic decline in newspaper circulation. According to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), newspaper circulation fell by 12% in the UK, 7% in the US, and 3% in Germany and France. India, however, experienced an increase in circulation by 12% despite the escalation of online services.
Magazines are also rapid in improving their content from dealing with specifics like finance, business and stocks to the most darling of today’s avid investors – the Mutual Funds to help them improve their readership.
As television has taken over the place of the radio, music apps have taken over the position of iPods; and now Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube and other electronic streaming media has replaced the TV and cable industry and the way we consume home entertainment.
An example of rapid advancement in technology is when Samsung became NDTV’s News reporting partner in 2017. With all news filmed on NDTV being displayed on ‘Samsung smartphones’, it guaranteed free, direct and anytime access to smartphone owners. Not only was this a smart strategy used by Samsung to regain its decreasing customers but was also a challenge for other news channels to keep its viewers’ ratings. Credible camera footage with Samsung flagship handsets – across studios and on-ground proved to be a real game-changer for the TV news channels.
The Internet has left many newspaper printing industries in western countries including the United States and most of the European continent to suffer significant losses. Increasing competition in the advertising market also added to the challenges to keep the print media working. The nominal charges for premium newspapers were cut down, thus resulting in many local newspapers shutting down or being taken over by others. These include the ceased publishing of United States’ Rocky Mountain News in February 2009 and United Kingdom’s: The Independent in 2008 and many more. More than half of their classified advertising has been lost in Switzerland and the Netherlands.
In recent times, news-reading habits have changed as an influence of the Internet. Reading online allows the reader to skip to a section of interest and ignore other news without even having to glance over its subheads or pictures, graphs or pictorial representations of the event.
According to a presentation conducted by researchers of RAND Corporation, the US-based journalism has gradually become subjective and opinionated rather than objective. Journalism, now “consists less of the detailed event- or context-based reporting that used to characterise news coverage,” said Jennifer Kavanagh, a senior political scientist and lead author of the report.
Earlier, before the year 2000, broadcast news: radio and television were pre-planned. Since that year, pre-planned shows have become just a handful. On-air personalities, guest appearances and engaging conversations are what runs the broadcast media today.
Asian countries: India, China and Japan currently contribute to 64% of the best-selling newspapers globally. As of May 2018, Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper publication is the world’s most circulated newspaper; Indian Dainik Bhaskar places fourth.
Behavioural and social scientist, Bill Marcellino, said in a report that “News sources are not interchangeable, but each provides mostly unique content, even when reporting on related issues. Given our findings that different types of media present news in different ways, it makes sense that people turn to multiple platforms.”
Hence technology will change the face of news dissemination, and soon we will be reading, listening or watching only the news in which we are interested in with Artificial Intelligence paving the way for this to become an everyday reality.
Written by Cynthia D’souza and Vaishnavi Karkare for MTTN
Featured image by Ashitha for MTTN