The Future of Print Media in Pakistan Offers Mixed Realities.
The industry has to evolve and converge to the convenience and timeliness needs of the economics of attention, information influx and changing media consumption patterns of the society.
14 April, 2017 – Islamabad, PK – In the age when electronic media seems to be taking over the print media, the ongoing rapid
transition puts a big question mark about the Future of Print media. Considering the repercussions, the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA), the Pakistan Coalition on Media Legal Reforms (PCLMR) and Mishal Pakistan, through a rigorous research and consultative process, convened a symposium with the stakeholders here today.
The session was moderated by Mr. Tahir Parwaz, Director Communications, Information Technology University (ITU). The session included, the history and current situation of print media in Pakistan, the new accountability structures for print media, revamping and digitalization of the audit bureau of circulations and modern mechanisms and practices for content delivery in the digital age. The discussion on the “The Future of Print Media in Pakistan”, Mishal Pakistan sought input from diverse industry experts, academicians, policy makers, regulators, journalist representative bodies and other relevant civil society organizations.
While giving the briefing the participants Amir Jahangir, Chief Executive Officer of Mishal Pakistan said, “With the advent of inernet the possibilities and opportunities for content to inform, influence and impact has increased many folds, print media has to evolve to face and address the complexities of the economics of attention. The industry has to transform into a medium where convenience and timeliness converges with information influx and changing media consumption patterns of the society.”
Indeed, internet has opened new forms of communication that exert diversifying effect on communication but even in this millennial age many people rely on print media for information because they do not have access to alternatives, said Tahir Parwaz while opening the discussion with the participants.
Senior Journalist Mubashir Zaidi while presenting “Gate Keepers to Information Managers”, said “Unlike the usual practice, Pakistan’s electronic media is driving the news agenda for the Print Media; this has to change. Major investigative and political stories are still coming from the Print.”
Puruesh Chaudhary, President of AGAHI and the contributing author of the Future of Business, said, the future of journalism is digital, while access to information remains the core need of societies, the role of editors and gate keepers will be replaced by algorithms soon.
While presenting “The Efficacy of the Regulatory Framework and Regulations for Print Media in Pakistan”, Nida Karim said “The Laws of the Print Media have safeguarded the readers and the businesses for decades; however, the laws need to evolve according to the demand of the technological advancement and changing social norms.”
Saima Shaikh, Director Training and Development, the Punjab Information Technology Board, presented the reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to improve the performance of the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). She explains how technology is enabling transparency and efficiency to improve the competitiveness of the print media industry in Pakistan.
The participants questioned and debated that the print media in Pakistan goes way back in time and has served as a breeding ground for journalists back then, and indeed remains one to this day. The death of this medium will only serve as a road to more unemployment. Governments of almost all countries of the world exert controls over mass media.
Established in 2003, Mishal has been engaged with some of the most dynamic organizations, including media enterprises and global development agencies helping them develop their communication strategies and solutions for better understanding and creating synergies with their concerned stakeholders. This Mishal activity was part of Pakistan Coalition on Media Legal Reforms (PCLMR) “Enabling Environment for Professional Media in Pakistan” project which seeks the concept of Regulation Ordinance in Media and studies its expected future in Pakistan through a brainstorming session with the concerned stakeholders.