Progress and development have been the hallmark of human existence since our species came into being. From discovering fire and building the humble wheel, to steam engines and voyages exploring the deepest recesses of our galaxy, humanity has accomplished a lot since its inception.
You cannot stop the steady march of technology, and this progression has also been reflected in the media industry. The industrial revolution saw printing presses and the newspaper industry flourish. Then radio sets made their way into the mainstream and news was dispensed over the airwaves. Eventually, television arrived, and TV killed the radio star, becoming the new king of news distribution. The latest, and probably the biggest, game changer of the lot though is the advent of the internet and the myriad possibilities it presents.
The superpower that the internet is
The widespread global popularity of the internet has caused the media and communications industry to turn on its head. No longer are news outlets restricted by their genres and formats. On the internet, the same publication can provide traditional text and images of the print medium, audio news and podcasts akin to radio journalism, and video coverage on the lines of television journalism. All this can be shared with not just your city, or state or even your country, but the whole world with just a few clicks.
Today, multimedia journalism has blurred the lines and changed the rules of the traditional pillars of the fourth estate. Gone are the days when you had to wait for your friendly neighbourhood paperwala to finish his daily distribution run, or the six o’clock news on the radio or prime time news hours to tell you what happened earlier in the day. With the internet, news assimilation and distribution is instantaneous. There’s something available for every audience out there, and in the format of their choice. Videos, text, pictures and online radio – news is dished out in every possible manner across websites and social media – beamed straight to the smart devices and computers across the globe.
It is not one-sided affair any more either. Comments, contributions, blog posts and guest articles mean news consumers also provide inputs to this massive media circus. Every time there is a newsworthy occurrence or incident, someone is there with a smartphone to capture it. Every story has a reaction – whether that is addition of new pieces of information, a viewer/reader’s opinion on the subject, arguments and even abuse.
What this means for new-age journalists
The walls that divide the journalist and the people he or she serves are crumbling.
While this development has definitely improved the way the world consumes news, making it more accessible, global and interactive, it has not become any easier. The modern journalist cannot afford to pick one medium as their hero and rest on their laurels. Versatility is the name of the game. Today’s journalist has to be able to write, photograph, shoot, tweet and do much more. Whether it is text or video, audio or photography, the digital-age journalist has to be able to do it all, and do it with absolute urgency. Furthermore, they have to do all of this while still finding time to chase leads, cultivate contacts and build sources out on the field.
The Indian media industry is slated for further growth
While the Indian media industry has already reached a stage where it has embraced this new multimedia approach and reaped the rewards, it looks ready to scale greater heights in the near future.
According to this study conducted by KPMG on behalf of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) called The Future: Now Streaming, the Indian media and entertainment industry is expected to grow at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 14.3% and reach a massive valuation of Rs. 2.26 trillion by 2020.
There is good news for print journalism in particular, because the study says that in the five years from 2015 and 2020, the print industry will grow at a CAGR of 7.8%, while its advertising revenue will see an even better CAGR of 8.6%.
The life of the modern day multimedia journalist is definitely challenging, but with the projected growth in the media industry, it seems that these great challenges will also reap great rewards. Are you ready to take on the mantle of utilizing new technology to communicate with the masses?
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