Print vs. Digital Media: A Local Perspective

Print vs. Digital Media is a much wider topic of discussion globally but we will keep it restricted to our local perspective.

Ever since the dawn of new media era in Pakistan, the constant debate of Print vs. new media or the began. It is necessary to mention here that term new media includes T.V, Online, and Telecommunications.

Both print and new media have their positives and impacts that can’t be denied in today’s fast moving world. Print media being the oldest medium of dissemination of news carries the legacy and glory of centuries along with it while new media portrays the changing world every second and every minute.

It will be very difficult and unfair to say that one is better than the other as both forms have their due importance and charm.

First we will discuss the salient features of Print media that keeps it alive even in minute by minute updating new media era.

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Authenticity of News:

Printed News is authentic and well though through before reaching the subscriber. In the urgent times of technology and satellite communication, our printed media is keeping it up with the needs of time. The credibility is un-shaken and proven through years.

Cheap availability of News:

Majority of the population neither have internet connection nor Cable TV. In this scenario printed news is the only means of cheap access to world happenings. Though newspaper industry too has suffered the effects of inflation in the country yet people can afford it. Unlike online news, newspaper is read by all the members of the family.

Detailed Personal opinion:

Print media offers detailed personal opinion of divers group of writers, journalists and intellectuals. Personal opinions let public develop their mind set about a certain issue or incident of National importance. Pakistan has produced great columnists through out its history. The names of Irshad Ahmed Haqqani, Abdul Qadir Hassan and Javed Chaudhry need no introduction.

Power of printed word:

Power of printed word can’t be denied even in today’s information technology world. Electronically recorded data can be corrupted after a certain period of time while printed material can be used as a record for as long as one wants.

With all the power and history of Printed media, digital media is fast dominating the world of print media.

Urgent News:

Unlike Printed news, digital media keeps its subscribers up to date minute by minute of the world and local happenings. According to some this sense of urgency of news is making people stranger to the news paper world.

If Papers are going to publish same news that TV channel and online media keeps repeating day long, then there is little room left for the subscribers to read the paper for old news that they already know. But newspapers have certainly reacted to this challenge of the new media and are constantly developing new strategies to keep their subscribers intact.

No limit of time and space:

unlike print media new media have no limits of time and space. News coverage of a particular event may continue live for hours uninterrupted. Built up to certain events can continue for days and even weeks. This power of new media grants it the power to propagate any ideology.

Broader impact:

Repeated and continuous transmission of news gives new media a chance to impact its subscribers more closely. Continuous bombardment of information on its subscribers is making them conscious of what they should know and what information they should skip. We are truly living in a world where there is a constant rain of information and we are feeling shaken by this rain of information.

Print media may cutting its publications in other parts of the world and keeping itself restricted only to online, it certainly is not the case here in Pakistan. We are witnessing new papers being launched every year both in Urdu and English medium and making their mark in market.

Similarly new TV channels and web portals are adding to the pile of new media. It will be interesting to see where the number stops and finally all the channels entirely focus on their performance and work for a true change in the society, being their prime function.