Concern over decline in newspaper readership

Though Kannada newspapers are coming out well, the readership is considerably less compared to the other states. A serious thought is necessary into this, said Madhyama Academy Member Rajashekhar Koti.

Delivering the keynote address at the Press Day organised by the Kodagu District Union of Working Journalists here on Friday, he said the circulation figure of a Malayalam newspaper in a small state like Kerala has crossed 16 lakh.

The total circulation of the newspapers in Kerala, except the local ones, is about 16 lakh. The newspaper circulation is higher in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal. But only in Karnataka, the total circulation of all newspapers combined is at 22-23 lakh. People here do not have the habit of buying newspapers, Koti analysed.

“People spend Rs 3 to smoke a cigarette, and Rs 5 to have a cup of tea. But they are indifferent towards buying a newspaper that throws lights on the ongoing events across the world,” he said.

“The small papers at the district-level have experienced a big blow due to the price war between the State-level papers. In between, the government has tagged those newspapers having circulation in 3-4 districts as regional papers and cut advertisements for them.

There has been 90 per cent cut in advertisement flow to the regional papers compared to the State-level papers. The    government should avoid this step-motherly treatment,” he urged.

In his inaugural address, Deputy Commissioner Ashwathanarayan Gowda said the newspapers are doing a good job by pointing at the problems in the society and drawbacks in administration. The print media has not lost its significance amidst the influence of visual media, he added.

Superintendent of Police Shivaprasad said the Fourth Estate should maintain objectivity, professionalism and professional ethics and live up to the readers’ expectations.
Journalists B G Ananthashayana, Chi Na Somesh, G Chidwilas, H T Anil, A R Kuttappa, Kudekal Santhosh and Telapanda Kavan were honoured. Kodagu District Union of Working Journalists Chi Na Somesh presided.

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