Vivian Reding, Commissioner (Minister) of Information and Media, European Union had a lot to share on ‘Newspaper in Broadband Economy’. She was speaking at a special discussion organised by the Indian Newspaper Society in the Capital on March 27.
Reding said that the Media scenario had changed with the advent of the Internet. This had had manifold repercussions in Europe, where broadband penetration stood at 35-37 per cent, she said, adding, India, too, was witnessing rapid changes even though the broadband penetration was a mere 0.3 per cent. And one added advantage here was that India could learn from the setbacks that European countries had already faced and avoid repeating them.
“The advertising market is also changing fast. You do not know how many people are influenced and how many make their buying decisions after seeing an ad in the traditional media. But in the Net is a different story. Who’s looking at them and what they are doing with it can be found out. The most important part is that websites know all about its users’ habits and change advertisers’ behaviour, which the traditional media may not know,” Reding pointed out.
“The precaution that traditional media having an Internet version need to take is to avoid repetition of content. They should have a different set of journalists. We need to have new instruments to understand media pluralism or concentrates. We as traditional media have to adapt to these changes,” she added.
According to Reding, broadband through mobile would revolutionise faster than through the terrestrial route. She suggested adapting on time to stay strong in the profession. She also stressed on how Internet could be harmful, especially for politicians, as it was an uncontrollable media. Speaking about community blogs, Reding said that there was no scope for correction in blogs, viz-a-viz its print counterpart. Blogs are much more quick and more uncontrollable.
Also present on the occasion were Bahubali S Shah, President, INS; Paresh Nath, Deputy President, INS; and Pradeep Gupta, Group Founder, CyberMedia Group, among others. Gupta raised the issue of views on regulatory issues. To this Reding said that both privacy and piracy needed to be regulated and stressed that there was need to protect information from being used in a harmful manner.