Prufrock's Page

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Start The Press

What one finds heartening, even amusing, is the hue and cry and heat and dust generated by the impending launch of new newspapers in Mumbai.

After all, we're constantly being told that we're a generation moving away from paper. We watch TV. We surf the Net. We check mobile devices. Newspapers? Too clumsy, too analog.

(Speaking for oneself, virtually the first thing one does after awakening in the morning is to lurch groggily in the direction of the front door to pick up one's daily fix of processed wood pulp.)

The 57th World Newspaper Congress -- held in Istanbul in 2004 -- informs one that Indian newspaper sales increased by almost 10 per cent in 2003, and by over 23 per cent over the last five years. (Globally, circulation is marginally down, but revenues are up.)

As an aside, the same congress offers the fascinating nugget that though literacy in Afghanistan is only 20 percent, an estimated 265 newspapers were published in that country in 2002, with over 150 distributed in Kabul alone.

Perhaps it's simply because you can swat flies with them.

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