September 30: The viewers and readers of traditional mass media like radio, television and newspapers and magazines are found to have decreased along with the increasing use of alternative media due to the impact of Covid-19.
A study carried out by a team comprising of media experts shows that the television audience has fallen by 12.2 per cent, that of radio by 14 per cent and newspaper readers by 17 per cent. People are found following these media for news occasionally rather than as compulsory.
In spite of this, it is seen that the relevance of the traditional media is intact for timely information and checking credibility of the received information. Although the use of social media has increased, people usually do not believe the information shared on such platform.
The Nepal Media Survey, 2022 published by the Sharecast Initiative Nepal has highlighted some interesting facts regarding the media use in the country. The survey is based on a field study done on 5,582 persons above 18 years of age.
As per the study report, the number of radio audience is 45.2 per cent and that of television is 48.5 per cent, and the number of mobile and internet users is 63 per cent, that of online news portal users is 30 per cent and that of newspapers is 15 per cent.
Compared to a similar study carried out by the media institution in 2020, the number of radio, television and newspaper users has gone down while that of mobile and social sites has increased.
The study shows that the number of radio and television audience using mobile phones with the help of the internet and not directly from the radio and television sets is also increasing.
As per the record maintained by the Department of Information and Broadcasting, the number of newspapers registered throughout the country in fiscal year 2021/22 is 7,874. Among these, around 1,000 are included in the Press Council Nepal's list.
The number of newspaper publication is found decreasing in recent times. The newspapers are found reaching their readers through their online edition. The trend of reading newspapers and magazines is decreasing due to the unavailability of newspapers in the remote and outlying areas and as people cannot afford time due to the nature of their job and work.
Editor of Kantipur Daily, Umesh Chauhan, said although the analysis of the study is not exciting, it is not disappointing either as newspaper, radio and television still have credibility.
Traditional media would have relevance if they could produce news related content as per the interest of the new generation, he mentioned.
As per the latest data of the Press Council Nepal, there are 3,624 online media. The 48th annual report of the council has clearly mentioned that more challenges have been posed to media due to social media. -- RSS