In most of the developed world, the role of the print media in disseminating information and news to the masses has substantially decreased with the advent of technology and advancements in the aforementioned societies. In fact, the same has been labeled by many as a ‘dying business’.  However, in India, the exact opposite may be true. The print media industry is not only seemingly booming, but even foreign publishers and publications have started investing in and creating a niche for themselves in this relatively new and lucrative market.

In a nutshell, the Indian print media has shown a moderate growth of 2 per cent in 2009 and reached around Rs 175 billion in size.  In addition to this, print advertising volumes grew by an estimated 3 per cent, whereas the election print advertisements saw an increase from 0.8 per cent in 2008 to 1.6 per cent in 2009.  Finally, and importantly, the print industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9 per cent in the next five years to reach Rs 269 billion by 2014, therefore validating and encouraging the notion that print media is alive and kicking in India.

It must be noted that there are certain factors which have contributed to and have resulted in the expansion and enrichment of the said Indian print industry.  One reason for the surprisingly robust performance of the print media is the fact that the Indian digital media is not considered to be a viable and serious source of reliable information in regard to current affairs. Television news channels are considered to be subservient to ratings, and therefore, more of a source of entertainment than actual news.  In addition to this, the ability of the print media to cater to various ethnic groups with divergent languages and dialects across India has also contributed to its increasing usage. In relation to the internet, although a potent alternative, the same is a recent phenomenon in India, and therefore is still in the process of gaining a firm foothold.  Hence, in times of greater literacy and awareness, and relatively less efficient alternatives readily available or accessible in the market, newspapers seem to be filling the proverbial vacuum.

When we speak of a ‘revolution in communications’, we presume it to be a change limited to our immediate past, that is the past decade. However communication has been in the process of being revolutionized since the earliest times when man formed tribes which would in time evolve into villages and then states. The earliest medium of communication for man was man himself. A runner would be sent who would travel many miles to deliver messages. When he learnt to tame animals communication was further accelerated as horses brought greater speed to transportation.

The point in recorded human history when man learns to express himself through the written form is his first successful attempt at encapsulating communication in a concrete medium other than his self. And after the invention of paper, many subsequent technological revolutions in communications have fundamentally impacted the medium. The reason why the last decade stands out in the history of communication is that it has created mediums of communication that are so fundamentally altered from their original historical antecedents that the link between the two is almost nonexistent. All of human history up to the 21st century can be understood as building up to this point where inventions such as Facebook, iPhones and iPads take communication beyond the point of return.

However, in order to fully comprehend the scope of this technological transformation, it is necessary to consider its impact upon the whole as well as its constituents that is upon the collective structure of society as well individuals. Modern communication gadgets have changed both the quality as well as the quantity of communication making it both inexpensive as well as dramatically increasing its frequency. Inventions such as Skype and webcam allow man to talk face to face with individuals many thousands of miles away; a feat considered to be virtually impossible at one point in time.

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