Skip to content

Kill or Co – Exist?: Print media vs. Electronic media

June 28, 2010
This post has been published by me as a team member of Tiger Trails Team for the SUPER 4 round of Bloggers Premier League (BPL) – The first ever unique, elite team blogging event in the history of blogging world. To catch the BPL action and also be part of future editions and other contests, visit and register at Cafe GingerChai_______________________________________________________________

Are they fighting it out against each other? It does seem so on the face of it. But look a little closer and you will find that it is not really the case! Print and electronic media – Each has its own distinct set of readers and viewers. Very often, a common subset of readers. But more importantly, each media has its unique advantage and disadvantages.

Back to basics – Let us be clear on WHAT is media? Media is a tool which is used to store and deliver information.

Print media – An Overview:

What comprises Print media? Only newspapers? Certainly not! Besides newspapers, an entire gamut of magazines, books and anything that propagates information to people falls under the broad category of print media. Print media presents information in the form of news, editorials, stories, analysis and biographies.

Believe it or not,

  • Print media has been around for more than two centuries!
  • It played a very crucial role in changing the lives of people by propagating bold News and Views
  • Every nation’s freedom, people movements and revolutions after the 18th century is rather inseparable from the success of its newspapers and other print media
  • Newspapers became an integral part of people’s lives
  • And till date, media is the mirror of what happened over the last couple of centuries and will simply continue to be so.

Electronic media – An Overview:

Electronic media is fairly recent, and started with the invention of the motion picture camera and Radio. The biggest outcome of Radio was that people started to receive news updates almost as soon as the event happened and did not have to wait until the evening or next day to read all about it!!

Technology has its costs. So Radio and other electronic media were not as cheap as the newspapers. Understandably, it took some time for the media to be accessible to the masses and reach a wider range of people.

The most astounding aspect of electronic media is, it grew rapidly from one form to other. From radio, it moved on to television, and more recently the Internet has invaded every home and office and virtually rules the world (pun unintended 🙂 ) !

Each of these forms of electronic media started as very an expensive invention, but then went into mass production and become an irreplaceable companion of humans.

Electronic media made possible, the dream of watching LIVE – an action that is happening at the other side of the world!!

Print media – The current situation:

Worldwide, the number of newspapers in daily circulation is gradually falling. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations (2009), of the 52 editions of various English dailies in India that were surveyed, only a mere 7 registered a higher circulation compared to the results of the previous survey.

The reason – Internet and television usage!

People are not ready to wait to read the news AFTER 24 hours, when it is READILY AVAILABLE on the internet or television, and that too, with graphic pictures and videos!

Coming to think of it, many of the newspapers have smartly accustomed themselves to the present situation by hosting a parallel internet site with latest news updates.

The growth of Magazines has not been affected much, as this media is more specialized. Therefore, readers who are interested in that field are still ready to spend money to read it!

Again, sales of Books, has not been affected by the electronic media.

It is interesting to note, however, that the Internet is playing an important role in increasing readership through online bookstores, as these reduce the pain of a customer to travel to a physical bookstore to buy a book.

Electronic media – Current situation:

As is always the case with electronics, introduction of a new product results in the old one becoming obsolete!!

Television & Radio: When the ‘television’ was available at an affordable price, it quickly replaced the radio. The rise in internet usage, however, hasn’t provided enough challenge to television as the latter still possesses some unique characteristics that cannot be provided through internet.

Another main advantage of a television is its simplicity. Unlike the internet (where the user needs to be technically knowledgeable about operating a computer), on Television, everything from news to documentaries is available at the simple click of a button!!

Internet: Now, the growth of internet in India in the recent years is alarming – there is more than 100% growth every year!!

The last 10 years have shown a great leap – from 2 million internet users in year 2000 to 50 million users by 2010!

It will definitely be on the upswing in the coming years too, considering

  1. the increasing youth population in India
  2. the very important fact that Internet has started to reach out to rural areas.

And as you know, the Internet is highly interactive, thereby increasing its appeal.

Print and Electronic media – A comparison:


Print Media

Electronic Media

Which media has the upper hand?


Very cheap. News can’t be bought in any other medium for just 2 rupees!

Much more expensive (hardware and software) compared to the newspapers and magazines.

Print media

News delivery

Rather delayed! News is atleast 8 hours ‘stale’ by the time the paper is in the hands of its reader!

Instantaneous. Real-time! Faster than fast-food J

Electronic media


Most of the time a complete view on the news item, covering all possibilities.

Comparatively, there is often a lack of in-depth analysis of an event.

Print media

Space constraint

To store all the news in the newspaper or magazine for future reference, a lot of space is required.

All it needs is the lap of the user as all the details are stored in hard disk or some server.

Electronic media


Easily accessible (Even the smallest town will have some newspaper or book) and can be taken anywhere without much effort

Requires a lot of effort and also requires other features like Wi-Fi to be connected everytime.

Print media

Interaction/Participation of common people

Almost nil, except for letter to editors.

Highly interactive. Huge participation of people, with their thoughts in blogs and in the form of comments and polls in news sites on each event

Electronic media

Concern for the environment

Lots of trees are cut down for paper. The only reprieve is they can be recycled.

Power wastage and there is no proper e-waste management.


The Way forward:

Electronic media seems to be poised to rule in the following years.

Electronic media – Internet: The common man is going to embrace the Internet just like he/she has embraced television. The resources available on the internet are drastically improving every single day, with millions of people contributing new thoughts, insights and information.

Electronic media – Television: Though Television cannot update itself more in the future, it will not go out of fashion, because it is the prime entertainment and knowledge provider for this generation and the ones to come.

Print media: Print media will continue in the same fashion as one can’t circulate an edition of paper every hour with updated news. Neither will there be a level playing field, as established newspapers will try to form an entry barrier to new players. Magazines and books will continue to thrive, perhaps without as much success as in the past.

So is it the end of the print media?

Yes. But ONLY If,

  • Every individual can afford to buy a television or computer with internet connection
  • Every reader/viewer is tech savvy enough to operate the electronic media (eg., internet)
  • Uninterrupted electricity and internet service is available in even the remotest village
  • People find pleasure in pressing the next button in an e-book reader or the e-paper to turn a page rather than turning a page on their own in a printed book or newspaper.

So as you can imagine, none of the above seems likely to happen in the near future 🙂

Therefore, until the above can be a Reality, print media will definitely survive, albeit without as much glory as it enjoyed in the earlier centuries.


Our Magazine – ‘The Sunday roar’ [Click on the cover to read the magazine]

Debosmita’s in-depth article on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy

Sudhakar’s racy account of ‘The Domestic Olympics’

Sudhakar’s intriguing thriller (crime fiction)

Neha’s unique limerick on Indian politics,

Pallavi’s quick comic/55-er on power of media

Saurabh’s hilarious interview.. one of its own kind

Rashmi’s interesting travel journal – City City Bang Bang

PS: Magazine Design by Sudhakar. Awesome job dude 🙂

41 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 10:21 pm


    • June 28, 2010 10:21 pm

      Woww! After a long time 😀 Yay yay! DANGANAKA

      • June 28, 2010 10:27 pm

        Just now I posted 😀 😀 Yes you are… YAY!!! 🙂

      • June 28, 2010 10:30 pm

        U r rt that they will def. co-exist Kanagu! As u brought out the point abt online book-shopping, they do complement each other! That ws a nice point btw.

        I hv one qs though .. what makes u think print-media wins content-wise?

        • June 28, 2010 10:45 pm

          Thanks Swaram 🙂

          If you see the news websites always give more attention to breaking news rather than in-depth analysis… even though they will have the in-depth analysis with them they project only the NEWS..

          Whereas in newspapers they will cover all the important news in the first page itself… isn’t it?

          • June 29, 2010 12:42 pm

            I dnt think so Kanagu. Websites hv all that u want too if we read thru properly. Front page news on papers – u think all imp. news is on the first page?????

            kanagu: I guess so Swaram… In websites in the view of publishing news instantly they miss few details at first and then will keep on adding in other articles and then will put up a complete article.. thats not the case with newspaper… and I didn’t said websites don’t have complete news… 🙂 🙂

  2. June 28, 2010 10:32 pm

    Kanagu, a winner from you yet another time..what a research, what presentation, what an amazing statistical data’s great to have you on tiger trails rock..

    let’s rock and roar 🙂

    • June 28, 2010 10:46 pm

      Really thanks Neha… its great to be part of our team and Roar 🙂 🙂

  3. June 28, 2010 10:53 pm

    Total ROCKING post man!!! Way to go Kanagu. U’re a star 🙂

    • June 29, 2010 2:52 am

      Thanks Pals.. 🙂 🙂 As always it wouldn’t have been good without your help 🙂

      • June 29, 2010 3:00 am

        U r VERY Strong when it comes to analytical ability and content… looking forward to more such posts Kanagu 🙂

        • June 29, 2010 4:31 am

          Thanks Pals… Surely I will try to write more of these… during my initial blogging days I have written them.. but as they are too serious I just left it 🙂

          Will try to post more on this line from now on 🙂

  4. June 28, 2010 11:48 pm

    well kanagu i think we need em’ both!
    Reading something from a blog and a book is an entirely different feeling,don’t u think?
    I think both can exist,but we need to find a cheap alternative for paper which is both natural & boidegradable!
    For eg: I had heard of a toilet paper made from the fiber present in Kangaroo & elephant droppings.
    Haha..Dont get grossed out,it isnt smelly! 😉
    I mean if we find something by which we don’t have to cut trees,thn thts a good thing na! 🙂

    • June 29, 2010 12:33 am

      Ok now I am sure we don’t need to be SO sincere about ‘recycling’!!!

    • June 29, 2010 2:57 am

      Surely… Both are different feeling for sure… 🙂 🙂 Have I ever said its the same??? 🙄 🙄
      Yes we have to…. but your sources are not reliable… as many were in the danger of extinct 😀 😀

      @Pals – lol!!! 😆

  5. June 29, 2010 12:27 am

    Wow Kanagu, you’ve said it all. I have nothing left to say! 🙂
    Brilliant post! 🙂

  6. June 29, 2010 1:45 am

    nice post…you have provided a very nice comparison table 🙂
    good luck for the contest 🙂

    • June 29, 2010 2:58 am

      Welcome here Pineapple 🙂 🙂

      Thank you very much 🙂 🙂

  7. June 29, 2010 3:06 am

    I absolutely agree with Karate brat…
    we need them both, cause when we haven’t no access in internet we have another way to read news through newspapers…
    internet is good, it is comfortable to find things we search out (wikipedia is an optimal encyclopedia on the web) LOL

    but… newspapers are natural, and also they don’t create problems to eyes if you read too much… with computer, insted, this problem is more present…

    kanagu: True Friend.. both will exist… its about which is comfortable…

    however, I read them both. I love reading on paper and through pc too!!!

  8. June 29, 2010 9:50 am

    Nice analytical post Kanagu 🙂 Liked it. Good luck for the contest!! 🙂

    kanagu: Thanks Ak… 🙂 🙂

    P.S: we are competing again.. hehe

    kanagu: Yeah… 🙂 🙂

  9. June 29, 2010 10:23 am

    A very comprehensive post. The presentation, analysis, pictures… makes it a professional post! Cool!
    All the best for the contest.
    Cheers 🙂

    kanagu: Welcome here Shilpa.. 🙂 🙂 thank you 🙂 🙂

  10. June 29, 2010 12:59 pm

    wow.. wat an in-depth analysis and article..
    gr8going Kanagu..very impressive article..

    kanagu: Thanks bro 🙂 🙂

  11. June 29, 2010 4:44 pm

    I think both will co exist. Electronic media seems to be losing credibility.
    Ask yourself. Do you trust any TV channel news, They make it sound so biased.
    Print media has greater credibility though they also may change track.

    kanagu: Every news is biased Sir.. but TV channels to get more TRP just stretch it too much…

    But, I apprecite the efforts you have taken putting data together

    kanagu: thanks Sir..

  12. June 29, 2010 7:12 pm

    Brilliant post Kanagu !!! As Pal says, your researching capabilities are fantastic !!! Keep more posts coming like this !!! 🙂

    kanagu: Thank you 🙂 🙂 I will try to write more of these 🙂 🙂

    Me too thinks that these two will co-exist…I want the newspaper in the morning but I like to watch news in the night. And may be read the same news in the morning to see whether there is more to it !!! And certainly, books are there to stay forever…I dont find it all comfy to read a book in my comp !!!

    Love the smell of newspaper in the early morning quietness, with a chai in my hand…bliss.. 🙂

    kanagu: Very true 🙂 🙂

  13. June 29, 2010 8:50 pm

    Yes, Kanagu..both the media co-exist. Very well-researched, well presented article. Excellent!

    Good luck for the contest, Kanagu 🙂

    kanagu: Thank you Deeps 🙂 🙂

  14. June 29, 2010 9:04 pm

    Kanagu, Very well researched and well though- out post! I loved the way you have given a background to everything and then come out with the way forward. Wonderful Analysis, Kanagu!

    kanagu: Thank you Smitha 🙂 🙂

    And I agree with you, print media will stick around, for some more years to come, at least from the look of it, at the moment.

    kanagu: True Smitha… 🙂 🙂

    All the best, Kanagu!

    kanagu: Thanks Smitha 🙂 🙂

  15. Sudhakar permalink
    June 29, 2010 9:32 pm

    You have totally rocked this one as well Kanagu. I am completely blown by the amount of analysis and statistics you put in a post. Totally super. Loved it buddy.

    kanagu: Thank you very much Sudhakar 🙂 🙂

  16. June 29, 2010 11:34 pm

    an in depth comparison of the two.. a lovely entry this one.. i enjoyed reading it and u made it easier on the eye too..

    a strong competitor.. all the best! 🙂

    kanagu: Welcome here Leo… 🙂 🙂 thank you 🙂 🙂

  17. June 30, 2010 12:49 am

    eh ???????

    whats this ?

    kanagu: 😦 😦 is this bad????

    • July 5, 2010 9:41 pm

      illa … but dont understand why this article came … i see a lot about BPL !!!

      kanagu: Hmmm… its a topic on which I have to write as a part of BPL… its a competition where we as a team participating 🙂 🙂

  18. June 30, 2010 11:58 am

    SO much of research, time and work has gone into this post and its pretty evident. Amazing one :).

    I must say that cover is very well designed.

    kanagu: Thank you Harini.. 🙂 🙂 Cover is completely designed by Sudhakar 🙂 🙂

  19. June 30, 2010 12:31 pm

    Firstly, may I state the obvious-You are a brainy young fellow!

    kanagu: Thanks Indy… 🙂 🙂 But I am not brainy… I lack lot of things 🙂 🙂

    And Well yes i guess both will continue side by side! So do you prefer the electronic format?

    kanagu: Anyday print media for me 🙂 🙂

  20. June 30, 2010 12:43 pm

    Hey! Ur magazine looks gr8!

    kanagu: Thanks to Sudhakar 🙂 🙂

  21. June 30, 2010 3:07 pm

    Kanagu, you are great! You have taken so much effort and analysed every angle.

    kanagu: Thank you very much 🙂 🙂

    We are comfortable now with the electronic media, but we can’t live without a newspaper or a pleasant peaceful reading feeling of good books, that too lying down comfortably!

    kanagu: Surely.. its weird to sit all the time before comp or laptop…

    Both are going to be an integral part of our lives, hereafter!

    I liked the cartoons! How did you do the book? Amazing! All the best, Kanagu!

    kanagu: Cartoons are provided by Pals.. 🙂 🙂 and magazine is done by Sudhakar.. and they rock 🙂 🙂

  22. aryan's mom permalink
    July 1, 2010 8:48 am

    Excellent post and very good analysis. I appreciate your clarity in thought…

    kanagu: Thank you 🙂 🙂

    The last point, pressing the next button than turning the pages…I find it very apt….sometimes reading from a news paper is so easy for me…..

    kanagu: For me too 🙂 🙂

  23. July 1, 2010 12:44 pm

    I think all the media will coexist and complement each other – like it has started doing already. There will be something to every need 🙂

    kanagu: Yes IHM.. nothing going to extinct…

    I love the look of your magazine!! It looks professional! And I am kind of clueless – still, about the BPL and Blue Ink thing 😦

    kanagu: Thanks IHM… 🙂 🙂
    BPL – here we act as team… they will give 8 topics for each round and we have to score max. points… and the team which scores lower marks will be out with every round…

  24. July 2, 2010 7:40 am

    Yes.. they will def co-exist… because we can’t let go of both… each of them has their own charm 🙂

    kanagu: True 🙂 🙂

  25. July 3, 2010 9:51 pm

    Nice… In the nearby future, its going to be Destination Infinity Vs TOI+HT+Hindu+DC etc etc etc. Not print media vs electronic media 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 As you can guess, I am so happy today…

    Destination Infinity

    kanagu: Looking Forward DI… 🙂 Surely you have every reason to be happy 🙂 🙂

  26. July 6, 2010 11:06 pm

    wonderful and well researched post!!

    kanagu: Thanks Reema 🙂


  1. Cafe GingerChai » Blog Archive » BPL Super 4 post links

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: