Wither the conventional media?

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BY NATASHA JEE and ALEXANDRA LORNA

KUCHING: Will the conventional media, among others, print media, be able to survive in the digital area?

Today, conventional media is facing huge challenges such as seeing a decrease in newspaper readership due to the presence of social media.

Thus, how can the conventional media overcome these challenges?

Communication and Research Consultant Dr Toman Mamora said that conventional media must be agile, willing and be able to respond, adjust and adapt to the changing time.

“Apart from that, the newsroom or the newsmakers must be able to broaden, deepen the latitude of their knowledge of a subject matter,” he said during the Journalism Seminar & Workshop entitled “Meeting of the Minds: How we can move forward the newspaper industry or journalism in Sarawak” organised by Pertubuhan Wartawan Bebas Kuching (Pewarta) at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Sunday (May 8).

He added that according to statistics, newspaper circulation in Malaysia has seen a decline from 2012 to 2018.

“The decline will continue but the newspapers will not be wiped out completely. They will be around but you will not be able to assume that strong presence and character as it used to have five, 10, 20 years ago.

“This is because social media has got the power of instantaneity and immediacy. Immediacy is a very strong asset on social media, whereas not for the case of the newspapers.

“For the newspaper, you have to go through the process where you have to send it to print it and wait for the following day,” he said.

Toman said conventional media therefore must reinvent itself which means that they must relook at its operating framework.

“For instance, the newspaper must broaden its scope within the operating framework such as providing hyperlink to the live streaming of events, video, and others,” he pointed out.

Asked about the challenge of social media and how conventional media can attract more audiences, he said first it is difficult to change a person’s preference.

“The only thing is, if these people cannot get to your level of understanding, you must get to them and try to understand them, meaning you must empathise with your target audience, especially the yuppies, the youngsters,” said Toman.

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