September 22, 2015

Millennials' challenge to print media

  My 12-year-old son asked me meaning of a word while reading a novel recently. I asked him to check with the
(Photo taken from this article on a related subject:
dictionary. But he refused to do so and took my phone and checked it in Google search.

  This was not how we learnt things. We always kept Oxford Advanced Learners' Dictionary or Cambridge Dictionary. Besides, would always keep an Oxford Pocket dictionary handy on the go.
The digital media is changing the way people are consuming news. A CEO of a top IT firm once told me he is using his Twitter account to keep him updated. "Tweets and retweets of those in my friends' list would take care of my news needs," he said.
  Perhaps, he's exaggerating a bit. He'd have a team working for him to update him on things from newspapers. But he'd a point to make -- that people are looking at on-the-go avenues to keep in touch with the world.
   For the last 30 years, my typical day starts with opening the door to pick the bunch of newspapers that await at the window corner. The habit became part of my DNA after I became a journalist 20 years ago.
   But, of late, I noticed a clear change in the DNA -- the first thing I'm doing in the mornings is to open Flipboard or Buzzfeed or Veooz for updating myself. Newspapers can wait because I'd my first dose of updates from the news apps.
  If this is the case with me, I can only imagine how millennials consume news.
Though I encourage my son to read newspapers, he shows no interest. But he consumes news on his Facebook wall. He would take part in discussions on some issues that interests him, quoting from the FB posts that include news sources.
I noticed that the kid next door is interested in Page 3 of Times of India.
  Are we going to be the last generation that cares to buy (English) newspapers? This is a fear that stalks me every other day. I know that people would continue to read newspapers. They do require news sources and they have lots of it already on Google Play, iOS or Microsoft's app store.
The phenomenon is largely confined to English media now. It will take some time before it impacts the regional media.
The means of consumption is changing rapidly. But I'm afraid those in the print media have not woken up yet to the adverse impacts of such change on them.

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