Indian Newspaper celebrates its 225th birthday today. This same day on 1780, the Indian newspaper was born and a new jobs called paperboys emerged. Hopefully it will continue to swing for the next 20 years like this. 20 years is just too much of a guesstimate given the supersonic developments in the tech area. However, newspapers would live longer than that but may not be in the same paper form. Who knows ?
Atleast in this part of the world, newspapers have been the prime source of news for more than a century. Else Bharati wouldn’t have never attempted to edit a newspaper called Vijaya when he was undercover in Pondicherry. The televisions which glare the red colored flash news snippets are just about picking up and can never replace newspapers. The internet however can.
Imagine, after 10 years from now, all of us might carry a tabloid PC or smaller than that, where we would subscribe to online editions of The Hindu, Times of India, Deccan Herald and those paperboys might just loose their jobs. Though personally I wish that never happens because there are numerous people whom I know, jump-start their morning biological compulsions only after a cup of filtercoffee and a gulp of morning news from The Hindu. Am sure Hindu’s online edition would improve dramtically then, to adapt the bulging online junta.
Vikatan group which publishes the widely read popular weeklies, is making it’s their online editions as a paysite. I am sure their online readership would continue to drop in the coming months but I am positive it might pickup in a year or two. All these days Vikatan.com was a free site and it was serving Vikatan only as a way of marketing their magazines. Now they are continuing to do what they have been doing online but for a sum of money. Even a few thousand dollars for them through the online subscription is extra. They can atleast break-even with this to pay their online content managers.
Back in the US, as the newspaper van throws a plastic covered newspaper at the doorstep which most of them pickup only when they take their cars out to work. They get dose of news from the numerous news channels and online news sources delivered to their multi-tasked PDAs. Ofcourse, I’ve read newspapers like Chicago Tribune, NY Times, Sun, Wash Post that have provide amazingly opinonated views to the news. It’s only that the urgency of life that make newspaper being read online than offline. A similar case would also happen even in India. I ain’t under estimating the power of newspaper but it’s due to complex lifestlyes, newspapers might get shrinked as marketing media for the readers. There could even be a Hindu evening edition in the coming years just for the whole lot of population that only gets up in the evening after a tiring night shift at callcenters.
All the above were on the future of newspapers. Taking about the contemporary state, few newspapers have started to take political sides or caste-based sides. A commoner has to read atleast two newspapers, watch the biased channel news, read online just to decide what the actual story was. Here’s the positive note for all those who think I was a little negative through out the post. If only newspapers continue to report(this is dicey word) news as they are, they can give a run to the online news content and news channels.
For those who missed to read today’s newspapers(in the wood pulp form), here are some the fabulous ad caption that The Indian Newspaper Society published as multiple quater page ads in most of the newspapers.
– If this was just a paper, it wouldn’t have lasted 225 years. The Indian newspaper. Born 29th January 1780. Just as powerful today.
– Go back to reading the paper. On this day in 1780, the first Indian newspaper hit the stands. And so began a ritual millions indulge in everyday. Come to think of it, that’s what you were doing before we interupted.
– Just this once, the big news of the day isn’t in the papers. It is the papers. 29th January, 1780. The first Indian newspaper hits the stands. And ever since, the papers have become an essential part of daily life. Now there’s a truly newsworthy event.