The World is going digital and so is your newspaper. Imagine a world where you no more pick up your issue of newspaper from the front porch, no more worrying about your paper getting wet because last night it rained. The Dog you trained to get the paper to your breakfast table is going to go out of job. The e-paper is here and it is going to stay. As more and more of human population gets connected to the web it is evident that the habit of searching and reading online will eventually lead to the demise of the faithful and trust worthy news bearer.
If we look at facts we are seeing the phenomenal rise in the online content right from mails, social media and blogs. People have started accessing information at unprecedented speeds and amount. They have also started generating their own news. Any event that may go unreported in the papers can be found on blogs and social media. If these are the trends then the average metro citizen is going to rely more on online news than wait for the paper boy to deliver the paper at your doorsteps.
The advent of Kindle has made things even difficult. Although there is still time for it to pick up in India, people are anyway logging in to digital news sources through mobile internet using smart phones and blackberry. At this point the only promising avenue for print media seems to be turn to digital and go e-paper. Already almost all the Indian newspapers have their e paper version and most of them are for free viewing. Big newspaper companies like UK based The Times are even considering to completely switching to digital by next 15 to 20 years. For those who have come in late, e paper is the digitised version of the regular newspaper. It’s all the same only that it has some features like an index and the pictures and articles can be clicked to zoom. They are also downloadable as PDF documents. Papers like Hindustan times are even giving features like saving the articles and pictures that interest you as clippings.
According to surveys the number of e-paper subscriptions is rising quite steadily especially in last couple of years. Anyway e-papers and e-zines are a better option than the paper version in terms of environment too. Millions of trees are cut every year for newsprint. Efforts of using industrial waste such as sugarcane pulp and recycled paper have not been completely effective. As such the e paper is making its way into the computer savvy technocratic urban population but day is not far for others in general to catch up. Only unforeseen consequence might be for the roadside chanawalla who might have to find other sources for paper to roll your chana.