Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das | The ABC figures are said to have shown a sharp decline in the circulation of newspapers which have reported their numbers? But very few newspaper companies have reinvented themselves. So, guess, it was expected. Your view?

24 Nov,2022

Bhaskar DasWe know he loves print, so we had to provoke him with another question. Without any further ado, here’s Dr Bhaskar Das in the November 24 edition of Das ka Dum. Read on…

 

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Q. The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) figures are said to have shown a sharp decline in the circulation of newspapers which have reported their numbers? But very few newspaper companies have reinvented themselves. So, I guess it was expected. Your view?

 

A. I wonder if report of one ABC period can be taken as a representative sample to support a premise that print circulation has gone down. One has to view the figures over a few periods and then compare. It would be unfair to compare the numbers with pre-Covid periods. When one compares apple with oranges, you would get skewed outcomes. Secondly, in terms of the total footprint of various newspaper brands, they have aggregated significant numbers in their digital versions (including e-papers) and one can’t ignore the role that each brand’s provenance plays in expanding its sphere of relevance & popularity. May be, ABC authorities may like to consider releasing certificates of phygital editions of each newspaper brand in future. In an omnichannel media environment, it may make logical sense. Finally, I don’t agree with your assumption that print media companies have not reinvented themselves which has resulted in decline in sales of copies. It’s no longer valid. If you scan the environment and investigate the leading newspapers of India, you would notice many initiatives to ensure interactivity and reader participation. Look at the changes made by The Hindu, for instance. One can always debate if the extent of transformation could have been more dramatic, but that’s always a subjective perception and it has to be evaluated in the context of cost-benefit analysis.

 

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