It was 7.30am and I was blissfully sleeping when I heard my roommate screaming on the phone: “What? 160 people dead?” He is a dynamic reporter of a rival newspaper. His source alerted him about the Air India Express plane crash in Mangalore. Within two minutes, I received a call from my alert colleague Mohan about the disaster.
We swung into action and tried to grab news about the tragedy for our paper from all possible angles.
But all this made me realise the weakness of print media vis-à-vis television and the Internet. The news was all over the world in minutes, visuals were there for all to see on television. There was a minute-by-minute flow of information on the Internet.
I have been a journalist for 27 years non-stop. During the 90s, reporters used to be adored for news breaks. Even now they do a great job. But something is missing. The glamour is waning for the print journalists. When a journalist from a TV channel moves in with camera, the celebrity bias is visible.
Newspapers have to bear the brunt even on the ad front. This made me remember the comment by the owner of my former newspaper: “We are just eating the leftovers of television and Internet.” This comment was made 12 years ago.