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Window Seat: Future of Media in India

29/11/2020 at 7:00 AM

Dr Mrinal Chatterjee

By mid-2020, India’s Media World hasmore than 190 million TV households, 900  TV channels- half of them are news channels, more than one hundred thousand publications including more than 12,000 dailies, 1000 Radio Stations, 2000 + multiplexes, about 100 Cr. mobile handsets, 650 million internet users out of which 420 million are mobile internet users.

Growth in media in India has been impressive. Consider the numbers in 1947. Newspapers and Periodicals: 3000 including 300 dailies. Television began in 1959. In 1962 there used to be two-hour transmission in a day on ONE channel and there were just 41 TV Sets in the country. India had 150 movie-theatres in 1921.  There was one AN Radio channel in 1947, and there were 11 radio stations. During partition, four remained in newly created Pakistan.

Proliferation of media has already created a problem of what experts say: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It has affected children across the world when they are exposed to too many choices. As a result, they are increasingly distracted and unable to concentrate, since their attention is consumed by more than one thing at a time.

In order to hold their attention, newspapers are becoming more visual, television is becoming more dramatic and sensational. Depth often is causality. This will only increase in coming years. There could be a reaction against this and some media houses can latch on to this as their usp (unique selling proposition).

Online newspapers or e-versions of the newspapers will be the order of the day in the next five to ten years across the country. The paper-based newspaper will gradually recede. Therefore newspapers have to take to new media technology in a big way. Online there would a mix of print, audio and video format.

More internet-based or on social media platform based television channels and radio stations will be set up. With the growth in digital technology, setting up a Television and/or radio station will be easier and cheaper.

Then there will be a shakeout and the number of newspapers, television channels, radio stations will come down from the present number. Reduction of government patronage in the form of advertisement will hasten this process. The number will stabilize at a point.

Stop Deforestation

Simon O Rourke a Wales-based wood carving artist did the wood sculpture out of a storm-damaged Pine tree that you see in the accompanying photograph. It has become a symbol of anti-deforestion protest.

Rourkewas a trained Illustrator; specialising in children’s books. However, he became, what he calls ‘a tree surgeon’ for a company called Acorn ArborCare as he needed a full time job.

But destiny had other plans for him. He soon realised that he could actually be creative with the chainsaw and tried his hand at wood carving!

He carved for two years under the banner of Acorn Furniture and set up his own business in 2005. Rourke now lives in North Wales, with his wife Liz, and has worked in a wide variety of public places and private gardens.

To see more of his works, surf:

https://www.treecarving.co.uk/portfolio/

Wood sculptures like this could be installed in public parks using damaged logs.

Market Story

A lot of monkeys used to live near a village. One day a merchant came to the village to buy these monkeys!

He announced that he will buy the monkeys at Rs 1000 each. The villagers thought that this man is mad. They thought how can somebody buy stray monkeys at Rs 1000 each?

Still, some people caught some monkeys and gave it to this merchant and he gave Rs 1000 for each monkey.

This news spread like wildfire and people caught monkeys and sold it to the merchant.After few days, the merchant announced that he would buy monkeys at Rs 2000 each. The villagers ran around to catch the remaining monkeys!

They sold the remaining monkeys at Rs 2000 each.

Then the merchant announced that he will buy monkeys at Rs 5000 each!

The villagers started to lose sleep! … They caught six or seven monkeys, which were all that was left and Rsgot 5000 each.

The villagers were waiting anxiously for the next announcement.

Then the merchant announced that he is going home for a week.  And when he returns, he will buy monkeys at Rs 10000 each!

He asked his employee to take care of the monkeys he bought and went home.

The villagers were very sad as there were no more monkeys left for them to catch and sell at Rs10000 each.

Then the employee told them that he would sell some monkeys at Rs7000 each secretly. This news spread like fire.  Since the merchant promised to buy monkey at Rs10000 each, there was a chance to make Rs3000 profit for each monkey- without even taking the pain of catching one.

The next day, villagers made a queue near the monkey cage.The employee sold all the monkeys at 7000 each.  The rich bought monkeys in big lots.  The poor borrowed money from money lenders and also bought as many monkeys as they could!

The villagers took care of the monkeys and waited for the merchant to return.

But nobody came! … Then they ran to the employee. But he had already left too !

The villagers then realised that they have bought the useless stray monkeys at Rs7000 each and unable to sell them!

Does this story sound familiar?

Tailpiece: Lucky

Anil and Sunil both were in love with Sunita and wanted to marry her. 

She is confused. She goes to an astrologer, asks:”Anil and Sunil are both in love with me, please tell me who will be the lucky one?”

Astrologer:”Anil will be the Lucky One….!!Sunil will marry you ….. !”

***

Journalist turned media academician MrinalChatterjee lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He writes fiction and translates poetry. mrinalchatterjeeiimc@gmail.com

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