All these years you have encouraged us by all means, perhaps this is the reason we keep on growing. Today, I am feeling honoured and happy to come up with online edition of our Marathi publication “Mumbai Manoos.” This is been inaugurated by Mrs Amruta Fadanvis, a versatile personality, a trained classical singer, a social activist, and a banker. She is married to 18th Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis and is the youngest first lady in the history of Maharashtra. Currently, she is holding the post of Deputy Vice President – Corporate Head (west India) with Axis bank. Our newspaper is edited and executed by women force and Amruta doing its launch is a great feeling.
While the mainline print media is facing an existential crisis over the rise of digital media, developments in the regional space paint a different picture. We need more local and regional bulletins to connect with the people of soil with their issues and updates.
The regional news space has grown phenomenally over the years. The print industry in India witnessed growth of 5.13 per cent in 2015-16, with 110, 851 registered publications. While Hindi newspapers are overtaking the advertising-rich English language papers in terms of readership numbers, the vernacular press has broadly evolved to become the backbone of the industry. Nowadays people prefer to read news on app through digital media, they want to stay tuned with their city and state. Our intention is to join these dots and bridge the gap. Connecting the Mumbaikars of entire globe is our motive. The regional press is scripting a new high for the print media industry. If you look at the growth of the regional press, it has been very promising over the years. This has also encouraged us to start more editions. We have our English Daily “Afternoon Voice” (www.afternoonvoice.com) but that is not enough to be in touch with local readers. The very own language of land can give sense of belonging to the readers. Moreover, we are a parallel media house having no political or business group backing and this is the newspaper run by a group of journalists to fight the evil and odds in fourth estate and maintain the democracy.
Regional-language newspapers are easier to understand. We will ensure that our regional newspapers will connect more and more Marathi Manoos and Mumbaikars in coming years.
Though print, especially the vernacular dailies, might be witnessing robust growth in terms of readership and revenue, many wonder if print would eventually keep pace with the speed of digital news. The reality is that websites or digital news portals have ‘feet on the ground’ than competing with print medium. Of late, newspaper managers are translating their local strength onto their websites on priority. India will continue to witness positive growth and there is no threat to this industry, because online publication has nothing much to lose. Social media has turned us all into citizen journalists with the ability to make the news whoever and wherever we are.
Reading a printed newspaper can be a sensory experience, but the fact is that these days newspapers suffer major decline in distribution numbers. Not only are users feeling more and more comfortable reading digitally, digital reading also allows for easier switching between sources and content and looking for the right content. A strongly increasing number of people do not want to buy the whole newspaper anymore, where they only read a few articles.
We’re currently seeing a rise in niche, independent online publications that are led by ideas, focused on design and unlike more established magazines, funded by readers rather than advertisements. There’s a certain appeal in owning, and even creating these types of publications. Digital media is a major part of our world, and publications are using social media and website content as a cost-free way to market themselves. Many independent publications are even introducing a digital version of their publication, expecting that it will compliment sales by targeting those who like to view content on the go. In some aspects, print media is becoming insignificant as people can access similar content through online websites. Blogs are becoming increasingly more popular due to their ability to give ordinary people a fashion presence, allowing them to share their opinions or showcase their own creative work.
Over the past few years, newspaper industry has entered a new period of decline. The parent of the papers declared bankruptcy. Many newspapers were closed in India, many have gone online and many journalists who were shown doors are the famous bloggers online, they are not only read but subscribed worldwide.
As I have mentioned in my various edits, for eight long years, I tried my level best to keep parallel media alive. We are committed to uphold fair journalism and live with its integrity. World is going digital and the existence of print medium for small organisation like us doesn’t make much sense. We are widely read by readers online, we could establish good existence through this medium. We are a small newspaper and could not fetch much readership through print, but created our existence already. People have started noticing us. Sometimes, I get scared of getting vanished due to rat race competition existing in media. To strengthen our roots and remain here forever, we are making one more attempt towards digitalisation of our publications. 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.
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