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‘India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media’ : Book Release in Kolkata brings Digital Divide under spotlight

The book outlines the influence of social media on Human lives while contrasting it with the traditional media

Book Release of 'India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media' at Kolkata Press Club.

Kolkata, November 5, 2016:  To create awareness about digital divide that has become the new caste system of the world, the book release of ‘India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media’ was organized at the Kolkata Press Club on Saturday, November 5.

Edited by Dr. Sunetra Sen Narayan and Dr. Shalini Narayanan, the book outlines the influence of social media on Human lives while contrasting it with the traditional media. Not just that, it also accounts challenges that lies ahead of us and the opportunities that social media flags in the Indian setting.

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Book 'India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media'
Book ‘India Connected: Mapping the Impact of New Media’

Dr. Narayanan says, digital divide is created due to factors like gender discrimination, income, differently abled people, literacy, and connectivity or speed. If we control them, we can bridge the gap.”

The book release was followed by a panel discussion on New Media and Historical Exclusions: The Challenges Ahead that focussed on the digital divide based on income, gender, and disability.

Documentary filmmaker and Chairperson of West Bengal Commission for the protection of Child Rights- Ananya Chatterjee Chakroborti says,  “Digital Divide is the new caste system in the world and there is a huge gap between country’s rich and poor. But, an organisation called IndiaUnheard is doing a fabulous job in bridging the gap.”

IndiaUnheard is the first ever community news service launched by Video Volunteers. This new initiative is constituted of a network of community correspondents who are trained to tell unique stories; stories about their own communities; stories which are otherwise left untold. The website flags the stories of the plight of these people as well as their success stories.

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Dr Uma Shankar Pandey, Head of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Surendranath College for Women, Kolkata says the problem is that in India, there are 25 crore people who have access to the internet, but the rest 1 billion are deprived of it.

“There is more to this one, what makes the gap worse is that there is 27% gender inequality, which means that boys have more access to internet than girls. Also, there is 12% urban-rural gap, which means rural people are less likely to have access to mobile or internet connections than urban people. This creates a class divide,” he adds.

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“What’s striking is that new media has also brought with it, imposition of a value system,” says Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University Prof. Suranjan Das. Media can be the torchbearer of ethics, once it is separated from biases.

Among the distinguished authors who contributed to the volume of the book are Prof Stephen McDowell of Florida State University, Tallahassee; Dr B P Sanjay, Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Hyderabad; Prof J Jethwaney, IIMC and others.

– by Deepannita Das of NewsGram. Twitter: @deepweep

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Can The ‘Internet’ Replace Television And Newspaper In India?

Even though digital media’s fast-paced and aggressive growth, it is unlikely that it will surpass the television anytime soon

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According to Google, the internet consisted of 5 Million Terabytes of Data way back in 2010. Pixabay

On the basis of advertisement

In India, as the pattern goes, traditional media (TV and print) are on the top in terms of advertisement. However, in the past decade, the media industry has overseen an aggressive growth of the digital media. In the span of just two years (2010-2012), the internet has overpowered the radio and OOH. Digital media does stay far behind the two giants (television and print) but has been successful in maintaining its growth rate at around 30% until 2014. The growth rate decreased between 2014-2017, but the ‘aggressive growth’ is still sustained.

In 2018, television advertising is expected to grow by 9%, radio 10% and print, cinema, and OOH at 5% each respectively. India will be a leading digital market as internet advertising will grow at 20.4% and it will account for 15.4% market share in the country by 2020. It is however estimated that television will still be the largest media comprising the market share of 39%.

digital media
A recent Samsung survey found that it isn’t reality TV or soaps that make us most likely to tune in but documentaries, with 41% claiming it is their favorite TV genre. Pixabay

ALSO READ: A doctor’s take on impact of Social Media

On the basis of consumption

An average Indian adult spends about two-and-a-half hours per day on traditional media (which includes television, radio, and print). On the other hand, the consumption of digital media is one hour per day on average. The reasons range from the poor infrastructure of digital media and its poor circulation or access to the rural population since they recently came into the circuit.

In 2016, the time spent on Television accounted for 56.4% of the total time spent on media consumption. Time spent on print was 7.9%, and radio accounted for 5.3%.

In 2017, adults spent an average time of 1 hour and 18 minutes daily with digital media. Adult’s average time spent per day with digital media grew by 14.4% this year, due to the newly gained access of the rural population to the internet. However, digital media still comes to the second place in contrast to television, on which 2 hours 11 minutes of daily time is spent.

In 2018, it is estimated, Television will account for 52.1% of the time and Digital for 35.9%, while print and radio will decrease to 6.9% and 5.1% respectively.

digital media
Oldest existing newspaper: “Bombay Samachar” – Gujarati daily – published from Mumbai since 1822. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Dark side of Social Media: Is opinion formation on Facebook, Twitter governed by propaganda?


We have witnessed a decline in the market share of print, radio and OOH. Though radio is increasing by 10% due to improved infrastructure, it still lags behind Digital Media. It is estimated that print will too, lag behind Digital media in the coming time. Hence, it will a competition between television and digital media in future.

Even though digital media’s fast-paced and aggressive growth, it is unlikely that it will surpass the television anytime soon.