The print media is known for its accuracy, credibility, and balance, and fairness. Unfortunately, in accordance with an audit bureau of circulation (ABC), India has bucked the global trend of declining readership of print media.
Print media has always performed well in India. There are two main reasons for it – the primacy of the written word and the home delivery of the newspaper. The reason newspapers in their physical form started declining in the west is that volition was involved you have to go to a newsstand and buy a copy. In India, we get it at our doorstep.
Television has ceased to be the source of the news. Newspapers are direct beneficiaries of the crisis in news content on television. It, however, has to be said that even in the more developed markets, newspapers have always been the source of the news. This can be due to the rise of literacy and urbanization in the country in recent decades.
But even the newspapers in India are failing paltry in maintaining some equilibrium in maintaining perceptions between the news and readers. Politics and entertainment have the initial -page news always covered due to meet the reader’s interests and tastes. While the assembly chaos and the anniversaries of celebrities take over the earliest page by storm, the water crisis, drought or the death of farmers occupy the subsequent pages.
While most of the revenue of the newspapers comes from its classifieds and advertisements, it has been a mouthpiece or a puppet in the hands of corporate or some political agencies. So, the credibility and the accuracy of the newspapers are being questioned by the civilians and citizens of the country.
Print media had played a crucial role in revolting against the Britishers and there had been many newspapers that publicly fought against the English regime. Mahatma Gandhi started newspapers like Harijan and Indian opinion in English and used it as a political tool, and he meant journalism means to serve people.
During the period of emergency, the press was subjected to censorship and it was not allowed to write against the regime. It was because of this main reason Indira Gandhi lost her elections badly following the emergency. And that was the impact and power of print media in shaping democracy.
Print media effectively reached people and evoked the sense of nationalism and made masses to plunge in the freedom struggle. It has been a revolutionary evolution and buried the gap of communication with aid of tangible assets for instance newspapers, magazines, and letters.
It can have a deep imprint on people’s minds and can influence shaping their minds and hold fair opinions over an issue.
People choose newspapers over television and other forms of media because they will have a hard copy of records of news and facts. They can express their opinions through the news to editors, or through writing articles, etc. but the limitation of the print media is literacy and it has been the major backslash for the newspapers to reach in rural areas. But the rising literacy and awareness, the print is regaining its lost glory in India.
The Hindi newspapers like Dainik Jagran hold the first place in circulation and prominent in the Hindi belt of our country and feasibly largely due to the popularity amid the people and literacy. Following the Hindi newspapers, Tamil and Telugu newspapers occupy their places concerning circulations.
The 2019 general state elections and Lok Sabha elections have suppressed the growth of newspapers while compared to 2018. It had clearly provided the ground reports and the constituency developments through various surveys without any inclinations to the readers and helped them to choose their readers.
India is home to The Times of India, one of the oldest newspapers in the world, and the world’s largest circulated newspapers, but it is not English language newspapers that are pushing print press growth but non- English vernacular papers.
This leaves India in a unique situation, in which tv, digital, and newspaper are all developing at the same time, unlike in the rest of the countries where digital has blown out and other things of the water.
On the flip slide, traditional and regional newspapers have massive and engaged audiences and a steady income from sales and advertising but are held back from modernizing by legacy technology and outdated mindsets.
The print readers have also witnessed some big debates around issues concerning fake news and paid news. The I&B ministry even proposed stringent punishment for journalists disseminating “fake news”. However, the order was rolled back eventually.
Print media can save journalism in India and it has a greater responsibility and it can thrive in the future due to the rising literacy and urbanization and favorable factors provided in India. It can save readers from a lot of disruptions and can maintain equilibrium with regard to perceptions.