Online news is certainly making its mark and I have to admit that the convenience, real-time value and ease-of-access are all very compelling reasons for my continued use. But are newspapers any less read or are their online counterparts just read in addition to the print version?
Many may argue that newspapers are dying and this is certainly the case when we look at online compared to print newspaper readership numbers in developed countries like the US. But what about Asia? With such a diverse range of countries including developing nations such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia, there is a very wide digital divide that exists across the region.
According to a TIME article earlier this year, traditional media in Asia is in fact not dying but is enjoying what they say may be the “world’s largest great newspaper boom”. Find this hard to believe? I did too, but when you look at the contributing factors it doesn’t seem that far fetched after all.
TIME says that one of these factors is the growing literacy rates. This coupled with the fact that fewer than 20% of the population only have access to the Internet; it is easy to see why newspapers still dominate. But perhaps it also comes down to choice. Asia’s share of the global elderly was 44% in 1950 but according to ADB it is set to rise to 62% by 2050! I have witnessed my grandparents’ morning ritual and without fail it always involves browsing through the newspaper at a leisurely pace. I don’t think they will ever consider surfing the web for the latest updates.
But to say newspapers will remain the dominant media in Asia is underestimating the power of the Internet. Only time will tell and the answer lies in our younger generations. So I put the question out to you. Do you still read print media?