For six long years, I tried my level best to keep parallel media alive by fighting all odds of this industry. We are committed to uphold fair journalism and live with its integrity. World is going digital and the existence of print medium for small organization like us doesn’t make much sense. We are widely read by readers online, we could establish good existence through this medium. Though, the decline of newspapers has been widely argued as the industry has faced down increasing newsprint prices, falling ad sales, the loss of much classified advertising and swift drops in circulation. In recent years, the number of newspapers slated for closure, bankruptcy or severe cutbacks has risen. Revenue has lurched while competition from internet media has squeezed older print publishers also. This has strictly affected media houses like us. We are small newspaper and could not fetch much readership through print, but created our existence. People have started noticing us. Sometimes, I get scared of getting vanished due to rat race competition in media. To strengthen our roots and remain here forever, we are making one more attempt towards digitalization of Afternoon Voice.
Digital journalism also known as online journalism is a present-day form of journalism where editorial content is distributed via the Internet as opposite to publishing via print or broadcast. However the primary concern of journalism, which is news and features on current affairs, is presented solely or in combination as text, audio, video and some interactive forms, and disseminated through digital media platforms. On internet, we have huge scope to expand, we can reach globally, and moreover we are not here to make money or fame. We are here to serve news and content. We are marking our presence to make difference in fourth estate. We are here to bring revolution in media. Off late, media is called as ‘prostitute’ or presstitute, paid, bazaru and what not. Somewhere, people have lost faith in mainstream journalism. Media has become tool in the hands of power or rulers. I refused to be intellectual slave or labour. I want to have all that freedom of expressions to speak my mind and call spade a spade.
Print has its own challenges, but despite these problems, newspaper companies with significant brand value, which have published their work online, have a significant rise in viewership. Fewer obstacles to entry, lowered distribution costs, and assorted computer networking technologies have led to the widespread practice of digital journalism. There are many media houses like Tehelka, Cobra Post, Gulail and others came into limelight with digital media and then they entered in print media. It has democratised the flow of information that was previously controlled by traditional media including newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Some have asserted that greater degree of creativity can be exercised with digital journalism when compared to traditional journalism and traditional media. The digital aspect may be central to the journalistic message and remains, to some extent, within the creative control of the writer, editor, and/or publisher.
In the West, newspapers are trimming. Numbers of young people are increasing who don’t use newspapers or television anymore as their primary source of information and entertainment. They logon to net through all modern device and smart phones. They prefer reading everything at their convenience and online. In India, the repercussions are likely to be even more aggressive. Social media has democratized content. Nowadays, social media is giving tough competition to mainstream media. You will find most of the Indian population is on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and blogs. Now everyone has a voice and they are expressing themselves as a being part of every issue of this country. Youngsters are making and breaking the politicians and parties. Consumers of content can today themselves produce content at no cost – except their time. This has changed the connection between traditional media – print and TV – and its audience. Op-ed writers, comfortable to a one-way conversation with readers, now have to deal with instant feedback – some of it embarrassing. If you see online, even journalists and their reports are questioned by followers. There is debate and argument till the point is proven. Social media prevents media houses to be biased and follow double standards. In the recent time, we can see really intense variation is the manner in which social and online media have made traditional media more accountable. Editors and TV anchors are regularly named and shamed if they wander off the straight and narrow. Prejudices are ruthlessly exposed, political affiliations closely analyzed and one-sided articles winch on their own petard – in real-time. Twitter and Facebook together have over 150 million users in India.
The digital world is harsh and bold; it has its own challenges. Traditional media has no option but to adjust to the new virtual reality. The really important development in India though is that social media now acts as an informal regulator of mainstream media. Over the past few years, MSM has been hit by an integrity crisis. The line between journalism and public relations (PR) is blurring. Corruption in mainstream media occurs in two ways: one, individual journalists are paid in cash or kind; two, media owners are compromised by political parties or business houses. In such crises, if we the young team media have to stand still then existence in digital space is very crucial and with time ahead we may go aggressive online by limiting ourselves from restricted print medium.
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We wish all our readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year, 2016.