Regional media will continue to remain relevant: Scribes

Bhubaneswar: The regional press is facing challenges but it will continue to remain relevant and robust as Indians are rooted to their culture, said experts at a seminar here on Thursday.
Inaugurating the seminar on ‘Regional Press: Importance and Impact’ organised by Institute of Media Studies (IMS), senior journalist Basant Das said regional press had played an important role in the freedom struggle. It now faces challenges related to information and technology since English dominates the medium of knowledge, but content remains the key for growth of newspapers. However, the regional press has accepted these challenges and is working on overcoming them. More than technology, content of a newspaper is important, he added.
Expressing his satisfaction over the rise of readership of local newspapers in Odisha, senior journalist Kedar Mishra said all over the world the circulation of print media has shrunk by 30% to 40%, but Odia language newspapers’ readership has grown substantially by 83%. He, however, showed his apprehension that when this bubble will burst.
Now-a-days, Odia reports have more inputs than English ones. “I find that local journalists have deeper knowledge that the reporters from other languages. Therefore, the vernacular journalism continues to be relevant. Vernacular journalists are generally considered `backbenchers’. But the truth is these backbenchers are the one who feel the pulse of the society,” he said.
Stating that regional press is the feeder for national news, senior journalist Basudev Mahapatra said media operating at the regional level have special significance for participatory democracy. The relationship between regional media and persons from the areas and communities they serve tends to be closer, stronger and more representative. Hence, significance of regional media for participatory democracy is due to regional journalism’s coverage of regional politics and issues that are either underrepresented in, or absent from, national journalism, he stressed.
Among others, faculties and students of Journalism and Social Work departments were present.

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