Saturday, February 13, 2021

What language media, regional press need to do: For Urdu newspapers too, original reports from ground are the key for impact, survival

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

If a language newspaper carries news that is available elsewhere too, then there is no uniqueness. 

It is seen as just translation of news available from other sources. 

In today's world, that's no longer not enough, it shows lack of imagination and if you run a established regional media group with a legacy, you are doing grave injustice to your own capabilities.

Language media or regional press doesn't mean carrying the same story that is reproduced in every other outlet, in your own language. Of course, when you pick up papers, most of the stories would be similar but ONE or TWO unique stories are necessary. 

Regional media or language press i.e. newspapers in states or the papers in other languages are not just supposed to carry the news which people are already getting from other sources, TV, social media and mobiles. 

They must have certain other strong points--either should be known good network in that area or for their exhaustive ground reports. This is important to understand because those consuming your work, are doing it just because of a habit.

You can't catch next generation or create impact, if you don't have a difference. Or if you have certain things that only you can provide them. As far as Urdu media is concerned, it is even more important, because it caters to a particular section. 

People are already getting stories from links that are shared on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. They also get stories from TV, internet and Mobile Apps. Unfortunately, many established Urdu media groups and seasoned journalists ignore this aspect and the change that's coming fast.

It is by 'doing stories, coming out with fresh, original and interesting reports, breaking stories or even data based insights, little known facts, that they can get huge mileage. It helps in building a brand, which is necessary.

Not only this is the way to gain credibility, you can present yourself as expert of the region or at least a particular area, community or section. And also its make others [non-Urdu media] acknowledge your work, its importance or even follow it. 

The fixation with 'Views' hurts the Urdu media. VIEWS are important but NEWS is foremost. You are upset with others reporting biased news. Fine. You can simply go to field, report from the ground, change the news narrative completely. 

If you come up with fresh insight, a new angle, a better follow up the next day, then they'll be forced to carry your reports, give you credit, which will enhance your reputation and strengthen your voice. Also, in city or state, your group will gain credibility. At least, people will know that these are established groups. 

There are dozens of ways to get your media house or newspaper attain prominence without spending much amount. Some points I have mentioned in an article earlier. I hope to write it in a few posts in future.

[Photograph is just for representational purpose. It shows Acharya Pramod Krishnam reading popular Urdu daily, Sahafat]