Magazine journalism in India is most difficult to practise: Arun Jaitley

Print journalism, both in terms of technology and timing, faces a radical challenge and the need for this medium is to search for a new identity, says Union Minister for Finance, Defence Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: Aug 21, 2017 8:37 AM

Traditional journalism, especially print journalism, is facing a tough time in this age of smartphones and social media where news updates happen by the minute. The challenge becomes even more pronounced when publishers are faced with the option of repeating news that has already been out on digital media. To deal with this challenge, many established news media houses in the west are increasingly taking the digital transformation route, and many have successfully done it. However, print journalism in India continues to follow the dominant old model, which is increasingly becoming a challenge for publishers. The need is to address these challenges and make the medium more relevant to contemporary demands. 


While highlighting these issues in his keynote at the Outlook SpeakOut Awards 2017, Arun Jaitley, Union Minister for Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs stated, “Magazine journalism in India is today probably the most difficult one. Thanks to technology, the definition of news itself has changed. News these days is whatever the camera is ready to capture or alternatively what digital media is able to get attracted to. Print journalism both in terms of technology and timing faces that radical challenge. Even for daily newspapers, one really cannot read in the newspapers what one has seen several times over on TV the previous evening or read it on the smartphones.”


The minister also reiterated that the print media should search for a new identity for itself in order to stay relevant. “Newspapers themselves have a challenge, being published at a 24-hour gap, as to decide whether to repeat what people already know or find out something that is entirely different. And for somebody who hits the market all seven days, I think the challenge becomes even stronger. You could have analysis in magazines, but even analysis is available on digital media. You could have gossip but that is also available by the minute on digital media. Therefore, to search that new identity for itself is the greatest challenge that the print media faces today.”


Jaitley also praised the practitioners of print journalism and publishers for the great work they were doing despite challenges in the sector. “The fact that India continues to be among few societies in the world where magazine journalism, both in English and other languages, manages to sustain itself is a big tribute to journalists who work there and to keep the readers’ inertest alive in the challenging environment,” added Jaitley.

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