Corona-virus, more commonly known as Covid-19 has slowly taken over the world. According to the WHO, the pandemic has already caused 3.57 lac deaths globally(as of 29 May 2020, 1601 hrs). A lot of industry experts have mentioned that the epidemic can have a massive catharsis in the way the world is at the present moment. So How will be News Industry During the Lockdown?.
In a measure to combat Corona virus, most countries have gone for a partial or complete lock-down with most crowded places asked to be closed until further notice and only shops that sell essentials such as medicines or groceries being allowed to operate.
Most traditional media organizations such as TV news channels and newspapers are working with a small proportion of their total staff.
The disease spreads through touch and a lot of people have stopped taking physical copies of the newspapers and magazines in a suspicion that it could be a potential carrier of the same.
People who still prefer reading the newspapers and magazines resort to reading these newspapers and magazines online. A lot of newspapers, including Indian Express and The Hindu, who had moved their e-papers behind a paywall, had removed it for a short period of time primarily to attract more readers.
Why drop of News Industry during the Lockdown ?
In the present times, a lot of people have started consuming news online. The primary reasons for the same include:
- Cheaper smartphones
- Cheap amount of mobile internet
- Availability of content in regional languages
- Availability of maximum content for free
While hygiene is an issue when it comes to reading a newspaper, a news report by Economictimes.com suggests that most readers still resort to newspapers in order to verified news. The news report suggests that the consumption of newspaper based news has increases to an extent that in the pre-lockdown period, only 16 percent of the people relied on newspapers as a source of information and right now, 38 percent of people rely on newspapers as being more credible.
“Citizen journalism is going to take a rise in the coming years post Covid lock-down. The credibility and the economic viability however would still remain a question in the initial years” said Adarsh Nalam, associate director-content at MSL Group in a webinar organised by Christ(deemed to be a university),Bengaluru and Kristu Jayanti College, Bengaluru.
Nalam further also mentioned that most traditional news portals and online media portals such as The Quint would move to subscription based models wherein they will keep some amount for free and for premium content, one might have to pay a sum.
Some Words By Nalam
In the webinar, Nalam further mentioned that most traditional media organisations are losing out on revenues and it shall become necessary to for emerging media professionals to have multiple skills in order to survive in the industry.
However, one can say that to an extent, the golden period of journalism is here. Most news channels, instead of pursuing vested interests , are showing news related to Corona virus pandemic.
For instance- India Today, one of the most well known media houses in the nation, has been holding talks with prominent people across industries regarding the contemporary situation and what will be the future of industries. The whole news industry has been focusing on Corona and continuously shows the statistics of Corona cases in the country and across the world.
The media however, has not been completely devoid of pursuing its agenda. For instance- A prominent Hindi journalist has been booked under various sections of the IPC for spreading hate speech against the Muslim community when the Tablighi Jamaat case came into picture.
Hence, during the lockdown, we can say that most media organizations are losing out on revenue but alternatives to the same are coming forward.