For much of this year, and certainly amid the accelerated global economic crisis, it looked like the media was experiencing two contradictory trends: Western media, hard hit by drops in advertising and grappling with the impact of new technology, were shrinking news rooms and seeking to fend off bankruptcy. By contrast media in the developing markets of the Middle East and Asia were booming, print was on the rise and unemployed Western journalists were scouring the region for jobs.
That picture may slowly be unraveling. The Guardian’s media commentator Roy Greenslade notes on his blog today that hard times are hitting the Indian print media too. A report in India’s Business Standard quotes various media executives as saying India’s print media is experiencing difficult times with newsprint prices rising sharply and advertising revenue falling sharply. The Standard quotes an ad tracking firm as saying that ad revenue in November had dropped by 45% compared to October and 20% on a year-on year basis. In response, Indian papers are cutting their number of pages, laying off staff, shelving expansion plans, eliminating editions and/or raising prices. Sound familiar?