The Future of News in India

Sustaining credible print and digital journalism

Indian news media in print| print media
Indian print news media in recovery mode

Sustaining credible print journalism and orienting digital news to the public good is an aim of a report by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy based in New Delhi. It develops a roadmap of legal reforms to facilitate the transition of high-quality print journalism into the era of digital communications in a manner that furthers the public good. The authors are Akriti Gaur, Aniruddh Nigam and Sreyan Chatterjee.

Note – The 70-page report can be downloaded free of charge from the Vidhi Centre for Policy Research website . What we are reproducing below is the summary as published by the authors, but after a brief look, we can say that it covers the legal framework and the business model including state subsidies under which the news media in India functions. It also cites relevant research by other organizations. The report should be made the framework for a serious discussion in the industry.

The news industry today stands at a vital crossroads. The worsening economic health of print journalism threatens its ability to credibly inform the public and act as an institutional check upon power. The environment of digital news, on the other hand, operates in a vacuum of regulation. The emergence of a post-truth paradigm in public communications and the widespread proliferation of misinformation are barriers to realizing the benefits of digital news distribution. Vidhi’s new report ‘The Future of News in India: Sustaining Credibility in an Age of Digital Transformation’ aims to ensure that high-quality journalism can transition into the era of digital communications in a manner that aligns with the public good. The report examines the digital transformation of the Indian news environment from a regulatory perspective.

Research focus

1. News and the internet: An inquiry into how the print news industry has evolved in the internet era.

2. News on the internet: An analysis of the state of news on digital mediums such as online websites, social media platforms, and news aggregators.


Recommendations of the report are geared towards:

1. Sustaining credible print journalism

2. Orienting digital news to the public good


1. Institutional reforms: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting’s Department of Audio-Visual Promotion (DAVP) is a crucial node in channeling state support to newspapers in the form of advertisements. The department must be provided institutional autonomy from bureaucratic control, and measures to bring about transparency and accountability should be introduced. This would channel state support to newspapers in an equitable and transparent manner.

2. Checking the dominance of online advertising platforms: The advertisement-revenue model for digital news may be displaying indications of market failure. To orient the market for digital news towards the public good, the role, and practices of online advertising platforms must be systematically studied by a specialized authority. An investigation by the Competition Commission of India into the dominance of online advertising platforms could be a starting point.

3. Enacting comprehensive light-touch measures to address misinformation: The entire chain of misinformation needs to be addressed in order to effectively tackle the crisis of misinformation. The report suggests a range of legislative, co-regulatory and voluntary measures which provide an integrated framework to prevent the spread of misinformation and enhance reader literacy.

4. Imposing appropriate responsibilities on digital news entities: The legal vacuum for digital news needs to be filled in a manner that is sensitive to the nuances of online discourse. The report recommends granting limited powers to the Press Council of India, in conjunction with a voluntary registration procedure and the development of a brief, accessible code of conduct as a mechanism for the imposition of editorial responsibility. The role of online platforms in the distribution of news should be addressed through targeted interventions based on the design aspects of such platforms.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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