Challenges for Media

OVER the last couple of days, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary has held some important meetings with the representative bodies of journalists including the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors and All Pakistan Newspapers Authority assuring them to allay their concerns vis-à-vis unified media regulatory authority as well as the government advertisements. From the very tone of the Minister as well as the current economic situation, it is certain that the present government whilst taking forward the austerity campaign will also put a big cut on its advertisements which indeed is not a good news especially for the print media as barring big media groups, their pie has already reduced over the last decade or so especially since the proliferation of electronic media.
Indeed these are challenging times for the print media to survive but these can be turned into opportunities by adapting to new strategies and resorting to digital portals as the fact of matter is that the people including the young lot still consider newspapers not only reliable source of information but also a mean to enhance their knowledge and understanding of issues. One big example is that for preparation of exams such as CSS and others, they turn not to the television channels but the papers. As long as the papers will continue to serve a credible source of information, they will not lose touch with the audience. But in these modern days, it is important for us to innovate and make ourselves relevant by introducing new platforms. In fact we need to reinvent ourselves and think out of box solutions. If we are able to do so, print will still be relevant a growing medium. The question, however, is whether print is willing and ready to reinvent itself. As long as the issue of distribution of government ads is concerned, the Information Minister has assured to make the process transparent. It is now for the representative bodies of media to immediately sit with the officials of PID to chalk out a fair and transparent formula that accommodates both national and regional level media.

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