Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who says newspapers are dying?

A point of discussion in the media industry lately has been the slow
demise of the newspaper industry in the US relative to the upswing of
the newspaper and media industry in "developing" nations like India.
In India within the last couple of years, several business media have
cropped up and are doing fairly well. "While gloom haunts the
newspaper industry in the United States and Europe, the business is
flourishing in much of the developing world," says an article in
today's New York Times.

Another excerpt from this article--
"Executives in India, one of the fastest growing newspaper markets,
say reading a newspaper is something to aspire to instead of a
throwback to a bygone era as it is perceived in much of the West.

"Anyone who can read or write is still looked at with a bit of awe" in
many markets in India, said Rajesh Kalra, a veteran journalist who is
now chief editor of Times Internet, the Internet arm of the Times
Group, which publishes The Times of India. The paper has a circulation
of 3.5 million, more than 10 percent higher than a year ago, and says
it is the biggest English-language paper in the world. Times Group, a
part of Bennett, Coleman and Company, is introducing editions of the
paper in three Indian cities this spring.

When people first learn how to read, they want to let people know, Mr.
Kalra said, and "the first thing you want to do is be seen to be
reading a newspaper."

The literacy rate in India hovers at about 61 percent, according to
Unesco, but the number of literate youths (ages 15 to 24) is above 76
percent, signaling that education is improving. The number of daily
newspapers grew to 287 in 2006 from 185 in 2005, according to the
World Association of Newspapers."

In fact several media companies like CN18 that only had a broadcast
presence are also branching out into print publishing to round out
their offerings, "Media companies in emerging markets, though, are
enjoying growth their Western counterparts can only envy. "Unlike the
developed markets, India is at a fundamentally different stage of its
life" when it comes to media consumption, said Haresh Chawla, group
chief executive of Network 18, a media conglomerate. The company also
has a joint venture with CNBC, as well as with Viacom, which brings
MTV and Nickelodeon to Indian audiences. "There is a huge synergy in
news gathering," and owning a newspaper will round out Network 18's
media offerings, Mr. Chawla said."

Read the full article at--

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