Media should embrace emerging technologies to tell stories

Media should embrace  emerging technologies to tell stories

The forces of intolerance and oppression have been gradually rising across the globe with increasing violence in countries like Turkey, Mexico and even India. Although the countries and their circumstances are different, the theme remains the same—to silence the voice of journalists. The need is to speak up whenever such things happen. However, to do this, news business must remain sustainable. This was the underlying theme of David Callaway’s keynote address at the recently concluded WAN IFRA India 2017 event in Chennai.

Callaway, chief executive of The Street, said, “Every media organization we lose due to business reasons makes our collective role weaker in the eyes of those who want to control us,” adding that the two issues of press freedom and business viability are suddenly coming together, which makes this time more challenging that anything in history.

In the last two years, Callaway said, the impact of digital media on traditional media such as print and broadcast has coalesced around two digital media giants—Facebook and Google. The massive size of their scale makes them direct competitors to traditional media even though they may deny they are news companies.

“The state of our industry relationship with Facebook and Google can only be described as combustible,” he said adding that the platforms remain a threat to the traditional news business at the moment and also to the reputation of newsrooms as credible sources. “The risk of fake news should concern every journalist.”

Embrace emerging technologies to tell stories
The most important job of a journalist is to tell stories. The mobile phenomenon has shown that people need news stories and information more than ever. Callaway said that members of the media should use emerging technologies to tell stories to sustain the news business.

“We need storytellers and truthtellers, whatever the technology,” he emphasized.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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