Top Story

Home >> media-print >> Article

Digital media is like a hurricane, it will be disastrous in the end: Paresh Nath, Publisher, Delhi Press

24-October-2017
Font Size   16
Digital media is like a hurricane, it will be disastrous in the end: Paresh Nath, Publisher, Delhi Press

As digital media continues to grow rapidly and provide an ocean of free content, Paresh Nath, Publisher of Delhi Press, talks about the challenges brought about by digitisation, and the future of digital as well as print media. He also spoke about his more-than-four-decades of experience at Delhi Press. Excerpts: 
You have seen the workings of a press since childhood. How have things changed since then?
I wholeheartedly started working with Delhi Press in 1970 and gradually took over the editorial department.
In the ‘70s, we were growing very fast, then for sometime the market conditions were not quite good as whenever cover prices go up, there is a little slowdown in the growth, otherwise, the circulation was growing continuously.
When Indira Gandhi declared Emergency I would read the final print before it was sent to the censor department. There would be nothing in the magazines that was prohibited in those days.
During those 19 months we didn’t use the words ‘INDIRA GANDHI’. We didn’t say anything against or in favour of Indira Gandhi. We just didn’t say anything about her, that’s how we registered our protest. Although, there was very little that we could do.
Our business did not go down during the Emergency, the circulation remain unaffected. Commercial advertising was also moderate and we have not been heavily dependent on government advertising at any point of time.
Sarita was quite a popular magazine. How profitable did it prove for Delhi Press?
Sarita was started in 1945, we had started getting ads in Sarita and it was fairly successful. In 1952-53, or even earlier, we got ads of Hindustan Unilever in Sarita. In some issues in 1962, there used to be about 100 pages of ads in Sarita’s Hindi edition. It was one of the most expensive magazines. In 1945, when it was launched it was Rs1/copy and survived on its cover price.
The future of magazines is a debatable topic. How has the going been for Delhi Press?
We were growing till 3-4 years ago but started facing stagnancy in circulation after that. Digitisation has made things difficult for publications world over and it is a cause of concern.
But I continue to have much faith in the print world. It is not writing on sand, it is writing on something which is solid and can be read centuries after.Digital media is like a hurricane; it will blow away everything and be disastrous in the end.
How will Delhi Press adapt itself in the changing times?
Once you realise you can’t tame the hurricane, the best thing is to put up wind mills, harvest the force of wind and save yourself to some extent and that is what serious print media the world over is trying to do.
Google, Facebook and Twitter have enabled everyone to come on board. They have spent huge amount in making this platform easy- for people to abuse, hide behind fake names, appreciate or make life he** for anyone, which wasn’t possible in print media because in print nothing within 140 characters would mean anything. Our headlines are longer than that.
Although, print remains a major source of revenue for traditional media, how long do you think it will survive?
We must understand that ultimately print will survive only if someone is putting money behind it, somebody has to.
If humanity decides that they want everything digital, print will go away easily. You won’t then read a 500 page book anymore. 
Can capturing rural population help to some extent in keeping print alive?
No. We have to go along with the urban population.
Urban population is the richer population all over the world. It is easily accessible; it is better informed and has more access.
You can distribute print material in rural areas but you can’t sell because they do not have the purchasing power.
The main reason is also logistics. Digital media could do so well because they could break the barriers of logistics, print media didn’t know how to do that.
Print has foolishly let digital media highjack itself the world over.
When most content online is for free, how does a pay wall work for Delhi Press?
See, I was very reluctant to go online when there was no advertising revenue initially.
We took it like a game. As long as the digital magazine newsstands are selling our magazines we have no issues but we weren’t comfortable with going online and offering free content. 
Various online news platforms are producing serious content. Do you think those could be alternative to print media?
In a society there are various ways of communication. Like there is a way to communicate through print, there is also a way to communicate through speaking. It doesn’t mean that the print has gone down because the speakers are getting paid.
Digital platforms are only about sensational journalism and not serious journalism. But, print is like a tortoise, it is slow but it lasts much longer.
Even if there is a very serious article on any of the websites, it will have a very short life.
How difficult was it to keep The Caravan going?
Very difficult. Although, there has been this fear of will it last or not. But somehow, I believe that it will last in one form or another and I will not have to worry.
So, my fear is if my book will be read because there is so much of distraction.
The news of 1857 revolution in India came in the London newspapers after eight weeks. The newspaper sold around 50,000 copies even in those days, which means people paid for it to read the news and the news organisation had the money to have a correspondent in India. Can a digital site afford it?

Chief Content Officer, Eros Group, on Eros Now's first original comedy series, reception to its short form content and code to crack original content strategy

The new Head of Office for FCB Ulka Bengaluru on her vision for the agency, her role in shaping brands over 16 years, and why it is important to have fun in advertising

Strategy Head, Zirca Digital Solutions listed out key aspects of a good content marketing strategy and performance indicators for successful campaign

Richard Ingleton, Group CEO, Kantar Insights, says it is not right to associate market research with just survey

right
left
ADVERTISING INDUSTRY GATHERS TO HEAR RAJAN ANANDAN AT AAAI SUBHAS GHOSAL MEMORIAL LECTURE BW BUSINESSWORLD MARKETING WHITEBOOK SEES KEY MARKETING LEADERS AT LAUNCH IN BENGALURU MINDSHARE BAGS TOP HONOURS @INDIAN CONTENT MARKETING AWARDS 2018 REALTY+ ORGANISES ITS 10TH CONCLAVE & EXCELLENCE AWARDS WPP CELEBRATES WINNERS OF BRANDZ 75 MOST VALUABLE INDIAN BRANDS IN MUMBAI MATHRUBHUMI LAUNCHES NEW VENTURE WITH MATHRUBHUMI MEDIA SCHOOL MULLEN LOWE LINTAS GROUP, OGILVY DOMINATE IAA AWARDS FOR CREATIVE EXCELLENCE THE AD CLUB RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY-LEADING BRANDS AT MARQUEES 2018 IN MUMBAI VIACOM18 SHOWCASES ITS NEW MULTI-LINGUAL WEBSERIES, THE VOOT ORIGINALS @MUMBAI EXPERTS PICK THE BEST OF CONTENT MARKETING AT JURY MEET FOR ICMA 2018 RAJDEEP SARDESAI LAUNCHES NEW BOOK ‘TRACKING INDIA IN THE MODI ERA’ AT DELHI CHLOROPHYLL ENTERS ITS 20TH YEAR CELEBRATING WITH FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES INDUSTRY VETERANS ADDRESS ATTENDEES AT THE INMA SOUTH ASIA MEDIA FESTIVAL @DELHI RADIO CITY RECOGNIZES BUSINESS ICONS AT DELHI ICON AWARDS 2018 KARAN THAPAR & SHEKHAR GUPTA DISCUSS JOURNALISTIC ETHICS AT THE PRINT’S ‘OFF THE CUFF’ WOMEN ECONOMIC FORUM AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE WOMEN LEADERS OF THE DECADE THE 6TH EDITION OF IAA AWARDS RECOGNIZES THE WORK OF INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS 11 INDUSTRY EXPERTS PRESENT  THEIR FAVOURITE DIGITAL CASE STUDIES @AD CLUB’S ‘D-CODE BUSINESSWORLD LAUNCHES 14TH EDITION OF MARKETING WHITEBOOK IN MUMBAI INDUSTRY VETERANS CHEER AS ADMAN AMBI PARAMESWARAN LAUNCHES NEW BOOK SPONG

FabAlley digital campaign features fashion influencers proclaiming the bold message of believing in being just fab, irrespective of one’s size, shape, height or weight

The Mirzya fame actor will endorse the entire range comprising Lip, Eye, Face and Nail colours

SBI Life Insurance's ‘Main se Hum’ campaign establishes a sharp focus on the company’s portfolio of protection products