From Print to Digital…
The global media and publishing landscape has changed drastically in the recent years and that is all thanks to the evolution of digital technology. In the UAE itself we have seen some major changes in the daily titles such as Gulf News and The National who have upped their digital game and made a lot of structural changes.
Magazines such as Ok!, Stylist, Aquarius, Viva and Good Taste have seized to exist.
All this indicates that traditional print media is now struggling to survive in this fast paced digital world where information and communication is exchanged in real-time and at a very fast speed. So in order to survive, media companies must innovate or fall behind.
Increasingly, we are now seeing a huge shift towards digital content where all surviving print media now also has an online presence in terms of websites and social media channels. A lot of the news is shared via these channels that prove to be more interactive, adaptable and efficient.
However, the market for print magazines and newspapers has not completely diminished, as some people like myself still prefer to flip through pages especially while sitting in a salon or waiting at a clinic. Also, people from the older generations still enjoy their morning paper with their cup of tea and perhaps there may always be a market for print publications…we just can’t say for how long.
Journalism began as print media and remained as such until the invention of radio and television in the 20th century. However now people prefer digital media, with the ease of getting information and news on their phones, tablets and other devices less and less people prefer to spend their money on purchasing newspapers and magazines. Investors are now focusing more on digital advertising and swaying away from print advertising, leaving ad space sales at a very difficult platform.
The effect of this shift is an overall change in businesses and companies – be it big or small. Everyone is now looking at ways of digitalising their businesses, increasing their online presence and changing their entire organisational structure. And this perhaps is one of the biggest drawbacks of the print to digital shift. Redundancies have increased as a lot of print publications have closed and restructuring of organisations has seen many individuals being asked to leave their job. If you don’t have the digital know-how, you are no longer an asset.
Some other drawbacks of digital content is the lack of control, everyone and anyone can use and misuse it, once it is out on the world wide web, it is very difficult to retract it and it spreads like wild fire. It is more open to public criticism and manipulation and it has led to a decrease in social skills.
Would we realise the real devil behind digital media and hopefully save the falling print media or will we continue to enjoy the benefits of news on our fingertips and eventually bid farewell to all things print? I guess only time will tell…
As I TYPE this for a BLOGPOST, I still sit with my physical novel and hope that the future generation will learn to respect the printed books, newspapers and magazines that we have grown up with…