The fact that newspapers don’t transfer corona virus has been emphasized so much, yet people are still not ready to accept that. This rumor created such a massive panic that the broadcasting minister had to tweet, saying that everyone needs to quash this rumor, reading newspapers cannot cause corona, all you have to do is wash your hands the way you do after doing everything.
Despite this, the people across the country decided to against reading the newspaper physically and not allowing the vendors to deliver the papers, fearing that it will transfer coronavirus.
Further on, from 23 till 31st march, the printing, as well as the distribution of the newspapers, was wholly suspended in Mumbai, the reason behind this suspension was the cancellation of the local trains as well as the fear of COVID 19 transmission.
The newspaper industry has been walloped, and their advertisement revenues hit rock bottom since the pandemic started. Not only the industry but the newspaper vendors too are affected severely because of the epidemic; they can’t distribute the newspapers to the shops as well as to individual houses because the societies and the housing colonies didn’t allow the vendors to enter.
All this happened despite the broadcasting ministry requesting the states as well as the union territories to allow the print as well as electronic media to continue their work smoothly while taking the much-needed precaution.
They also mentioned that both of these industries are important because they will deliver timely and authentic information on time.
Not only the Print media, but the vendors too had to face heavy losses.
THE LOSS FACED BY THE VENDORS:
Many vendors have complained that prominent societies have stopped receiving newspapers, and they have to incur substantial losses. The vendors used to pick around 20,000 to 25,000 newspapers from the depots, and now they are unable to sell 3 to 4000 papers in a day.
Even the Advertising avenues have taken a hit.
Agents from the newspaper industry have reported that this pandemic has increased the newspaper industry crisis because the advertisements’ revenue has taken a hit, even the circulation revenues have taken a blow.
Since there are no advertisement flows, and the circulation revenue has gone down, the vendors aren’t able to earn anything. Moreover, because of the lack of advertisements, the number of pages in newspapers has gone down drastically.
Now that the coverage of newspapers revolves around the Covid-19, they are designing the pages of the news accordingly. Moreover, the papers are focusing on their e-clients. A lot of publications have made their e-paper free; they have also started distributing complimentary e-newspapers to the members of the IAA-India chapter.
The cost of producing a newspaper is about 20 rupees, so the lack of advertisements has really affected the news houses, moreover with no ads the redesigning as well as the presentation of the news now is based on the priorities.
Not only newspapers, but even the magazines have also taken a hit, magazines like outlook had to suspend their production temporarily, since there was no advertisement revenue, and a lot of magazines had to shift to the e-print version.
LOSSES FACED BY THE MEDIA HOUSES:
According to the sources, the media houses have faced losses of about 5 to 10 crores.
Newspapers make people believe that they are fine.
The advertisement revenues have dropped drastically; moreover, the consumers too aren’t interested in products that are not necessary. But the fact that newspapers deliver proper news which isn’t fake has either resorted to e-papers or have slowly started picking up the print form.
This is why a campaign too was created, which emphasized on the fact that newspapers don’t spread coronavirus, even a lot of dailies started this campaign. They have insisted on the fact that the newspapers are safe and sanitized, and all the information which is printed in the newspaper is authentic.
Furthermore, the Hindustan times wrote a note that they are making changes and focusing on the essentials needed to get covered. They further said that their production plants are sanitized regularly, and the newspaper making process is completely automated.
Later on, the Times of India made a note to their readers that they are following proper hygiene protocols, and they have made sure that the paper isn’t handled manually even while the printing is going on. They further stated that the news organizations had provided gloves, masks, and sanitizers to their distribution centers. They have safeguarded everything.
TOI also stated that the public health specialists and epidemiologists had asked people not to believe in the rumors, they claim these rumors to be irrational as well as unscientific.
NEWSPAPER COMPANIES’ TAKE ON FAKE NEWS:
Newspapers have also made advertisements on the fake news, and these advertisements state that the print is proof, and these urged the readers to read the newspapers.
With this, even though newspapers are safe, a lot of people shifted towards e-papers, especially the tech-savvy generation. Reading e-papers is a lot easier and more accessible since people can read them on the go or while performing other tasks.