AND a few stray thoughts on why more and more people are switching from newspapers to social media. When I open my copy of the Times of India, I cannot find any news on the first page. Instead I am asked to unbox Snapdeal for Diwali purchases. I turn to page two and the only news is still Snapdeal telling me what mobiles and digital TV I should buy and how much discount I would get. I turn to page three hoping I will finally find some news and all that I can see “The best time to get Mac is now”.
I do not know who Mac is and I am looking for news on Monika Ghurde and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economic summit. I turn to page four and I see an Amazon ad. It would appear I am paying to look at ads and not getting news, which unfortunately is the point. In India, the people including advertisers are not willing to pay for information.
So newspapers sell the space meant for news to them. In the old days, the maximum size of an ad on the front page was 20×3 which is less than quarter of a page. Now you see ads even above the mast head. I have also been offered ads on the entire front page, but I refuse to sell my face to make a few thousand rupees. People are moving away from print media because there is very little to read in newspapers. And whatever there is, is probably ads masquerading as news or paid news as it is called.