Sunday, February 12, 2006

Indian Newspapers - Hopping Online to Have an E-Presence

I am an avid follower of news, be it related to politics, sports, technology, nature or glamour world. I can distinctly recall my school days when I used to spend close to 3-4 hours pouring through the day's newspapers, both the English edition and the Kannada edition. Whenever a news item used to interest me or the details given failed to satiate me, I used to make it a point to visit the community club house in the evening to scan the other national dailies to know more about a news clip.

What surprises me and even my Dad these days is that I hardly spend 5-10 minutes with the morning newspaper. I just browse through the headlines. Don't jump to conclusions yet. I haven't lost my interest in news. Its just that my news sources have changed. And my time scanning news items has increased from 3-4 hours to close to 5-7 hours a day. Now that's a little bit overdoing it, you may say, but when I am not complaining, its fine.

My news sources these days are not the NEWSPAPERS, but their e-editions on the INTERNET. Yes, I have websites that quench my thirst for news.

www.timesofindia.com, www.news.google.co.in, www.deccanherald.com for India specific news
www.nytimes.com, www.latimes.com, www.washingtonpost.com for US news
www.cricinfo.com for cricket news
www.cnet.com, www.zdnet.com, www.wired.com, www.alootechie.com for tech news
www.nationalgeographic.com, www.nature.com for nature news
www.bbc.com for world news.
www.udayavani.com for regional news

These news sites are so up to date, that what I find in the print edition the next day appears stale to me. The other day as I came out of my room in the morning, my Dad called out to me, "Did you see the morning newspaper today? Scientists have discovered a new island in Papua Guinea teeming with species of animals never seen before". I say," Dad, That is old news already. I read that news yesterday afternoon and I have saved the latest on it for you to scan on my laptop". I showed him the latest news update on it at www.latimes.com which included 7 color photographs of the species discovered till date. His jaw dropped. He quips, " I think these print editions will soon get obsolete with the likes of you. Ha ha ha".

Very true, I mulled over the significance of his impromptu statement.

News Aggregators like Google News and Live news updation facilities at most of the sites mentioned above have changed the way Indian Netizens are viewing news. Morning newspapers, in homes that have active Net surfers, are turning into objects that keep alive traditions that were inherited from their parents. TV news channels too are hastening the death of the printed newspaper. Slews of 24/7 news channels offering out of the oven fresh news by the minute are forcing people to re-examine the need for the printed edition.

It is all too obvious that living in a age where time is everything and the need for keeping pace with the ultra fast lifestyle is as essential as breathing, waiting for the morning news paper is a No-No.

News papers too are fast turning e-savvy. Unlimited space for news stories, a platform to elicit readers views, more interactivity, huge cost savings and a global audience are all key attractions that the Net offers in this direction. Times of India has started e-editions of its newspaper that resembles the look and feel of the printed edition. NDTV news site offers live video news feeds for a small price. Even newspapers in regional languages are embracing the Internet to reach their readers faster. Research all over the world in electronic paper and electronic ink is touching a crescendo. That sure will be the way you might be reading newspapers in 5-10 ears time.

And now the next thought you must be harboring is the amount of patience I must be having to visit each of these sites. No way !!!. I subscribe to all their RSS( Really Simple Syndicate) feeds and get the news delivered to me fresh and at my laptop. Just like the good old printed newspaper !!! Fresh and delivered at your doorstep in the morning.

Useful Links

E-Ink & E-paper

IBM - E-Newspaper

World's Print Editions Online

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