Mighty Media

An opinion that disappointed avid readers of newspapers, particularly the senior citizens, was expressed in some circles not too long ago that the end of the era of dailies was nearing. Digital technology, the harbinger of every human activity coming under the sway of electronics, sounded as the culprit behind the dreaded eventuality of people having to live without their favourite rag and the trusted companion of the mornings for several decades. Well-marked sections of their chosen dailies, first for speed-reading and subsequently for a closer look at the details, over a cuppa, cementing their zealously guarded connect would not divert their attention to any other goings on in the family. The days on which the print media chose to rest were their hardest to pass time. Reports featuring the politicos of their region, scams in particular, episodes of crimes, announcements by the administration on civil matters, ads, matrimonial columns, real estate particulars, engagements for the day as well as the next, science news, health tips, train timings, music, cinema guide and so on offered on a platter day after day took them to a virtual dream world.

Seeing themselves, more appropriately their image, in print, whether on the front page or any of the inside pages, with captions including their names or seeing their articles or letter to the editor published or even figuring in various reports of public events is gratifying to all, equally across different age groups. The editor cannot avoid the ‘bad-boy’ image for not extending the hospitality of the favoured daily to the readers of that daily in particular.

Kerala State has reportedly achieved 100 percent literacy and one can hardly spot a citizen of the State without being glued to one or the other daily first thing in the mornings. The fact that television viewers have outnumbered readers of newspapers in the land many times over is just a numerical fact, given the large majority of television addicts are more entertainment-centric than information-centric, the latter being patrons of the print media. The kind of physical and intellectual inputs into making newspapers happen like clockwork are entirely in a different class compared to making television telecasts happen.

A report published last week in a business-oriented daily of the land under a multi-column heading, namely “Newspapers see 38 per cent jump in readership” should warm the cockles of the editors of dailies of all hues and also the bosses behind the newspaper publishing sector in the country. The outreach of the declarations by the top brass in the administration that can sway the outlook of the masses to life in general, particularly on poll eves, say it all about mighty media.

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