By Rup Narayan Dhakal–The history of print media is not older than 400 years in the world and 122 in Nepal. But newspapers are now struggling for survival. Some may blame Covid-19 pandemic behind the sorry state of newspapers but I say it is the technology that changed the scenario. When Covid-19 first case was reported in China, news publishers did not think that the situation would be so bad.
The Covid-19 could be termed the fresh shock for newspaper business but the main reason for its decreasing business and readership is technological evolution for sure. Following the invention of Internet technology, newspapers happened to face a new challenge. Nowadays a large number of audiences and readers rely on online media to have information and entertainment. Many publication houses have been already closed as they faced the shortage of advertisements and circulation. But the online media are grooming day by day, unlike print.
Newspaper means today’s news for tomorrow but online means news at an instant or in a click away. So, how could a consumer wait for hours when he has the easy and cheaper options in his/her hand for having news outright? So, this is the technology that is killing the newspapers day by day. Experts however suggest that newspapers should serve information differently than online media for survival. This idea may work somehow but online is going to become an ultimate medium for the future. It is because advertisers can get effective results from online media than print. They can bring their advertisements directly to the target group or audiences in cheaper investment than via print media.
In this context, there has been registered around 2000 online news portals at the Department of Information and Broadcasting, Nepal. Hundreds of other online news sites are also on service without being registered. Similarly, social media also is a vital medium for information in recent days. Those kinds of media like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok also are being the medium of getting and posting information and entertainment. So, new media are the latest challenges for newspapers.
In this way, dozens of newspaper outlets have already been closed as Corronavirus rattled the world. The same fate is facing the Himalayan nation Nepal now. Thousands of journalists were left unemployed following the shutting down of newspapers. However, there is not any gap in circulating the information. Online media have left no stone unturned in circulating the information. Slowly, online media are being prime sources of getting information even for those who used to enjoy reading newspapers, in recent days.
Yes, this is the era of online media but there are many challenges even for them. Large numbers of advertisers are due to be convinced with the online media. Similarly, the lack of technological knowledge, skillful manpower and appropriate government policies also are hampering to flourish the online media. Techno savvy users, expensive and slow internet speed also is the unfortunate parts of the online sector. Whatever the challenges, the print media could be said of being on the verge of collapse in recent times.