Chang­ing Me­dia Land­scapes?

Southasia - - Editor's Mail -

The me­dia land­scape around the world is rapidly shift­ing to dig­i­tal. Al­low­ing pub­li­ca­tions, both for­mal and in­for­mal, to in­stantly gain ac­cess to a global au­di­ence, this new era of me­dia has opened doors for a num­ber of opin­ions and sto­ries to be glob­ally ac­ces­si­ble. While tra­di­tional pub­li­ca­tions are clos­ing their news bu­reaus and ex­pand­ing their web pres­ence to tar­get a larger and un­hin­dered au­di­ence, South Asia un­for­tu­nately does not seem to be fol­low­ing the trend so far. Of course, in­nu­mer­able pub­li­ca­tions have en­tered into the realm of dig­i­tal me­dia and con­tinue to thrive and com­pete with big names, the trend hasn’t caught on, ex­po­nen­tially. The prime rea­son is be­cause in­ter­net ac­cess in this part of the world re­mains spo­radic and ac­ces­si­ble to only a se­lect few, given ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion or eco­nomic class. In Pak­istan, in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion stands at a mea­ger rate of only 3.4% in a coun­try with 18 mil­lion peo­ple. While so­cial me­dia sites like Face­book and Twit­ter have rapidly caught on and are in­creas­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, most users con­tinue to de­pend on tra­di­tional and cheaper forms of me­dia, like TV, ra­dio and print to gain ac­cess to news. It will take time for dig­i­tal me­dia to fully pen­e­trate South Asia and till then, tra­di­tional me­dia houses have lit­tle to worry about.

Ali Im­ran Karachi, Pak­istan

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