Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das: Given the absorbent quality of newsprint, do you see people being increasingly wary of buying all print products going forward since they could be carriers of impurities?

31 Mar,2020

Bhaskar DasWe asked this question earlier, but chose to be more direct this time. Let’s hear what Dr Bhaskar Das says on the Future of Print in today’s edition of our Das Ka Dum series. Read on…

 

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Q. If one is near a table and accidentally spills some water,  the reflex action is to grab any newspaper copy around and put it on the water to stop the flow. The newsprint absorbs the liquid. So, even though there is no proof to reinforce the point that the newspaper could be a carrier of a virus, its absorbent quality pushes the fear factor.Given this, do you see people being increasingly wary of buying all print products going forward since they could be carriers of impurities?

 

A. As a print media journalist, your predilection for a question is quite palpable. And being a man of print background, I am your target always. But I can’t gloss over your latent anxiety about the existence of print. As I have been maintaining, no format goes irrelevant, only business models do. So those social and cultural cohorts who want to access print will do so. The real googly has come in the form of the Coronavirus, which is alleged to be a carrier of the same, albeit there is no proof of it. But human mind behaves unpredictably. Digital access might enable citizens to avoid physical contact for the time being. It’s the same way as people have adjusted to digital payment to avoid going to the bank. Since social and material (that goes through multiple handling)  distancing has become a way of life, I can imagine physical use might give way to digital titles, especially in urban areas. One can’t be deterministic when it comes to consumer behaviour specially in such volatile times.

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