Thu, Feb 23, 2017 | updated 09:48 PM IST

India's digitized media not competing with news organisations, only plugging gaps

Updated: Nov 01, 2016 12:09 IST

New Delhi [India] Nov. 1 (ANI): The digital revolution has changed the landscape of the media worldwide, and today, traditional news organisations are struggling to find their way in a new world.

With the Internet taking center stage in our lives, conventional media like newspapers, television and radio are now available online too. The web has opened up unlimited space for media professionals to open credible news platforms of their own.

These new age, purely web-based news sites, run by journalists, formerly belonging to various television channels and papers, largely offer insights, original opinions and theories on social and political issues.

Journalism is a calling that can be practiced in many ways, especially today. Unlike in the pre-digital era, reporters not connected with mainstream media, or even those associated, today have the opportunity to create and successfully run a parallel platform online of their own.

The Delhi-based India Samvad, a daily English news website for news headlines from India, is one such example of an alternate news medium.

It is run by a group of experienced print and broadcast journalists, who also do investigative work.

The Voice of Nation (TVON), another Delhi-based platform, offers unreserved opinion and theories on issues that the country is grappling with.

Abhishek Dinman, the editor of TVON, says: "We are not competing with news organisations that primarily report news, with limited space for informed opinion on the matter. A lot of times, a reader is left thinking. we try and plug that gap by offering views that come from experience and understanding."

Any reporter whose method is informed by no opinion lacks quite a crucial dimension, so journalists ought to present their position as vigorously and as persuasively as they can and open themselves up for debate and disapproval.

It is also worth determining how and with what kinds of storytelling Indians learn about issues and events facing society and the world.

But instead of tug and pull, each form of news and opinion platforms should evolve to support the other as necessary parts of the whole.

Interestingly, according to a New York Times report, India is one of the few places on earth where newspapers still thrive, with plenty of professional opportunities available for journalists, especially young journalists.

Even television channels continue to be in growth mode, but thanks to the digital explosion, the space to operate in the media industry has expanded beyond limits.

There are many other websites offering rich, many-sided, multi-media content, including long-form features, investigative articles and thoughtful analysis.

According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers assessment, spending on entertainment and media in India has grown rapidly in recent years, driven by the country's growing middle class and a young urban population.

This expansion of spending notwithstanding, India's entertainment and media market remains significantly smaller than that in other leading Asia Pacific countries such as China.

The PWC assessment reveals that India's overall spending on entertainment and media expands at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6 percent, just narrowly ahead of China's 10.9 percent.

It predicts that by 2018, rise in spending in India will be led by digitally-driven sectors, such as Internet advertising (at a CAGR of 20.4 percent), video games (16.7 percent), and Internet access (15 percent).

India will be further differentiated by having one of the world's fastest-growing newspaper industries, expanding at a CAGR of 7.5 percent amid a global newspaper market that will remain essentially flat.

A recent Deloitte study has said media consumption across the globe is increasingly happening in digital formats. The increase in the number of devices capable of supporting digital media along with increasing internet access speed; has provided consumers with an option to access media content of his choice, be it information, entertainment or social activity anytime, anywhere.

While the United States is in a leadership role insofar as the jump from traditional media to new (digital) media is concerned, countries like India are catching up because of the increased emphasis on technological and digital mediums, and their expansive use in daily chores, whether in the home or domestic space.

Digital media players like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV, Roku, and Boxee, etc. are already challenging the traditionally maintained supremacy of television as the main entertainment hub. There is most definitely a transition taking place towards on-demand content, a rise in mobile data consumption and mobile devices driving digital consumption.

Mobile devices today are the preferred medium of consuming online media. The smart phone market has seen an unprecedented growth in the last five years. It is expected that there will be 4.6 billion smart phones in the hands of people by 2019.

The Internet has been and continues to be a disruptive force, impacting distribution and consumption channels for media. With better networks, coverage, and advanced technologies (3G, 4G / LTE) the consumption of data across the globe, and specifically in India, can be expected to rise due to the increased array of platforms available. (ANI)

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