In November 2005, one of the dynamic leaders of the media world, addressed the issue of print media and stated that the print media has been unsuccessful in accepting the reality of the internet. By virtue of being a media giant, whose presence was already there in different parts of the world, namely London (U.K), NewYork (America) and Sydney (Australia), Murdoch brought to light the fact that traditional press and internet have a long way to go and they have to be in tandem with each other to make the best of each others positives. Mr. Murdoch also stated that, ‘effective journalism and good writing can never be threatened, but nobody can deny the fact that recently there has been a gradual decline in the broadcasting of print media.’ ‘To save their individuality, print media has fallen so low, that it mostly depends on advertisements to keep it going and this definitely is enough reason to worry about.’ It was a heart warming coincidence that as we spoke of the individuality of print media, there was a workshop in Chennai, where the same issues were addressed, accepted and thought upon. (Development Implication of Diffusion of Information Technology).
What we need to ask ourselves is if print media would be able to keep up its position amongst digital/interactive and multimedia? It is true that today, in India, the number of people exposed to the internet are a handful, but with the way information technology is progressing, we cannot rule out the possibility of print media becoming history. In the coming years, will digital media take the place of traditional print media? Already in countries like Britain, internet and the information boom on websites have had a negative impact on print media. Though we cannot predict completely into the future, on a closer note and looking at the few years to come, we can be sure of the fact that print and online media will have to be in tandem.
When did the usage of internet begin? Internet as an abbreviation was used in the 70’s in various communication circuits and software controls. This communication circuit used to link various networks used by the American Army. (ARPANET- Advanced Research Project Agency Network)
By the 80’s, this platform of communication networks, gained more popularity and universities and other institutions also became part of the internet. Thus by the end of 80’s the internet became a very important part of the entire computer system. By the 90’s internet had crept into every part of the world, making it the most powerful tool of communication. Electronic mail was first introduced in 1972, and in 1976, Kavin Elizabeth sent her first mail. In the World Information Society workshop organized in Tunisia, between 16 and 18 November 2005, the usage and acceptance of internet world wide was discussed at length so that Asia, Africa and Latin America could also reap the benefits of the internet boom. In the Tube Association, there was consensus on the point that the digital boom should target to uplift the developing nations rather than only help improve the already developed countries. The same thought is also shared by UN Sec. Gen Mr. Kofi Annan, that the few developed countries should not consider the communication / internet boom to be solely theirs but share it with others as well. He also stated that, ‘Digital communication boom should be available to all and only then this boom can be termed as successful. There should be absolute liberty to all, to be part of this boom, and change their stature from developing to developed.’
In the year 2004, search engines were extensively used in America and after the e-mail, the search engine priced itself as the second most widely used tool. In the year 2005, out of a population of 94 million, 63% used the search engine for various reasons, when in the month of June 2004, this percentage was only 56%. This information was shared by Pew Internet and America Life Project, on 20th Nov 2005. Out of the people who use the search engine are the ones who have access to broadband internet connection. Even with the search engine, the email still enjoys being the most widely used tool with a whopping 77% of population using it. Though we do not have the exact percentage of Indian population exposed to the Internet, we can be assured that in the coming 10 years, India will also be experiencing an Internet and communication boom. Internet will be used in every field and its importance will be felt across every development in the country.