hy has the media establishment become so unpopular these days? Perhaps, the public has good reason to think that the media’s self-glorification gets in the way of solving the country’s real problems. Most of the times media works as paid coolies or they land up becoming the mouthpiece of some or the other political party. People do not trust them, but at the same time, the double standards of the viewers have damaged the media image at large. Off late, media is called as ‘prostitute’ or presstitute, paid, bazaru and what not! Somewhere, people have lost faith in the mainstream journalism. Media has become tools in the hands of power, rulers, and Mafias. Print has its own challenges and limits when it comes to survival and truthful journalism has really become a task. Despite these problems, newspaper companies with significant brand value, which have published their work online, have a significant rise in viewership but less is trusted.
Over the past years, the traditional media has held up well, and despite the ever growing availability of online media, consumers still expect and consume both. The percentage of reading a free newspaper had increased. The rise of the smartphone and tablet, particularly among the key 18-34 demographic, highlights the potential for mobile news reading to this elusive audience. The news media has a generally positive view of itself in the watchdog role, but the outside world strongly faults the news media for its negativism. The public goes so far as to say that the press gets in the way of society in solving its problems. If you go to the public and ask them about the present media, they have nothing good to say about it. This is my personal experience; once upon a time, media and its people were highly respected, and today they are looked down. Journalists just remained as sophisticated marketing executives. Every newspaper or a channel has its own agenda. Today’s journalists are milliners, they possess all the riches more than what they earn and deserve.
The decline of newspapers has been widely debated, as the industry has faced dropping newsprint prices, slumping ad sales, the loss of much-classified advertising and precipitous drops in circulation. In recent years, the number of newspapers slated for closure, bankruptcy or severe cutbacks has risen. Revenue has plunged while competition from Internet media has squeezed older print publishers.
Through the past decade, discussions among newspaper editors and publishers have been a litany of woes: fewer readers; lower “penetration” rates, as a decreasing share of the public pays attention to news; a more and more desperate search for ways to attract the public’s interest. In the short run, these challenges to credibility are a problem for journalists and journalism. In the longer run, they are a problem for democracy.
As their revenues have been squeezed, other medias are taking away not only their readers but also their principal sources of profit has also increasingly assailed newspapers. Many of these ‘new media’ are not lumbered with expensive union contracts, printing presses; delivery fleets and overhead built over decades. Many of these players are simply ‘aggregators’ of news, often derived from print sources, but without print media’s capital-intensive overhead. One estimate put the percentage of online news derived from newspapers at 80 per cent.
Numbers of young people are increasing who don’t use newspapers or television anymore as their primary source of information and entertainment. They log in to the internet through all modern devices and smartphones. They prefer reading everything at their convenience and online. In India, the repercussions are likely to be even more aggressive. Social media has democratised 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 people are expressing themselves as a part of every issue of this country. Youngsters are making and breaking the politicians and their political parties. Consumers of content can today themselves produce content at no cost – except their time. This has changed the connection between the traditional media – Print and TV – and its audience.
Social media prevents media houses to be biased and follow double standards. In the recent time, we can see really intense variation in the manner in which social and online media have made traditional media more accountable. The Editors and TV anchors are regularly named and shamed if they wander off the straight and narrow. Prejudices are ruthlessly exposed, political affiliations closely analysed 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, mainstream media 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 cases, most of the media houses follow peculiar agenda journalism, one pro-establishment and other anti-establishment. In the name of news sensation, thrill, table stories, and propaganda are served to people. In the name of breaking news, unrest is created and most of the channels land up in loud arguments during the prime time. The media has become shoddy and shabby, somewhere people have lots of faith, perhaps this is the reason they are hated the most these days.
(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on [email protected])