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New project: How are Indian newspapers adapting to the rise of digital media?

06 Jul 2016

The Indian newspaper market is vibrant and diverse, and rising print circulation has so far shielded it from the digital disruption the industry has faced in many high income countries.But internet access and use is rapidly growing in India, driven especially, by cheap smartphones and mobile web access. And both attention and advertising is moving to digital media. How are Indian newspapers adapting to this change? How are they changing their journalistic work, their newsroom organizations, and their distribution strategies as digital media become more important? These are the questions we are pursuing in a joint pilot project with the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), India. As part of the project we are interviewing editors and journalists working with newspapers in English, Hindi and Malayalam (one newspaper for each language) to better understand how different Indian newspapers are adapting to the rise of digital media.

The study will result in a joint report published by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford that we hope will help Indian journalists and newspapers as they navigate their digital transition, their colleagues elsewhere in the world facing similar issues, and academics and media policy makers keen to understand how the development of digital media—and the ways in which other actors respond to these developments—are reshaping our information environment.

We expect to publish the report in December 2016. The research team includes Zeenab Aneez and Sumandro Chattapadhyay from CIS, and RISJ Director of Research Rasmus Kleis Nielsen. Vibodh Parthasarathi from CCMG, Jamia Millia Islamia, will contribute to the study as an advisor. The project builds on a recently completed study of “Digital Journalism Start-Ups in India” conducted by Arijit Sen and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen.