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.