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Indian print media bucks trend: Tewari

August 26, 2013

From the Nagaland Post.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari

India seems to have “bucked the trend” of a downslide in the print media sector across the world with its newspaper industry poised to grow at 10 percent and emerge as the world’s sixth-largest newspaper market by 2017, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Saturday.

Addressing the inaugural function of the National Media Centre here, Tewari said the media sector has witnessed massive transformation over the past two decades, and one of the collaterals in this has been the print industry with many iconic newspapers and magazines the world over shutting shop.

However, India appears to be bucking the trend, he said. He said the regional and vernacular print sector has seen growth in tandem with increasing literacy levels and advertisers are keen to leverage these markets.

The print industry would “be able to weather the shifting sands of technology at least in the Indian context”, he said.

The minister also said there is scope for increasing viewership of news channels in India, which stands at only seven percent compared to 93 percent viewership for general entertainment channels of the 15.4 crore TV households in India.

This could happen if the “news broadcasters and Multi System Operators (MSOs) are prepared to re-imagine their content and carriage paradigms respectively”, he stressed.

With the revenue model of both the print and TV genres heavily dependent on advertisement for revenue, Tewari said for the news broadcasting industry the cap on advertisements could be synchronized with the digitization process of cable TV.

He asked telecom watchdog, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to reconsider the 12-minute ad cap that news channels have resented.

Keeping in mind the exponential growth of new media, with over 86 crore mobile phones, 12.4 crore internet users and eight crore people on Facebook, the government has recently created a New Media Wing in the ministry to have a presence in this virtual civilization, he said.  Read more in the Nagaland Post.

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