K. Nageswar, MLC and Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism, Osmania University, Hyderabad, on Sunday said the expansion of TV and new media has failed to be a threat to the existence of print media in the country. Instead, the phenomenon has been marked by a substantial growth in the circulation of newspapers along the lines, he said while inaugurating a two-day orientation programme for rural journalists being held here under the aegis of the Andhra Pradesh Press Academy.

The media habits of the people were so typical that they were used to both watching the news bulletins on the TV channels and reading newspapers as well, he pointed out. Quoting the latest surveys, he said only 10 per cent of the people exposed to the media in the country were surfing internet for news while the rest of them were still depending on newspapers. He said the phenomenal increase of literacy levels and the ability of the newspapers to convert the threat posed by the visual and the new media into an opportunity helped the latter’s survival.

Village tabloids

Prof. Nageswar predicted further penetration of both the pint and the electronic media in the State in view of growing political awareness in the public. In the process, the district editions in the language press were likely to be replaced by the mandal and village tabloids in the near future. The TV medium might also witness a similar kind of balkanisation, he added. He called for an activist role by the media personnel in reporting in defence of the poor and the vulnerable sections. Saying that objectivity was different from neutrality, he observed, “After all, you can’t remain neutral at times of coverage of certain events like the crimes against women and atrocities against dalits but have to take sides in favour of those subjected to oppression.”

Besides, the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University offers concession in fee for students choosing journalism at the PG level. St. College for Women Principal P. Mercy, District Public Relations Officer R.V.S. Ramachandra Rao spoke.