Srinagar, Nov 14: Challenges facing the Urdu journalisms and efforts needed to face them collectively remained the focal point of the discussion at the International Conference organized by Maulana Azad National University Hyderabad here on the occasion of 200 years of Urdu journalism.
On the second day of the conference, the speakers expressed their views on the challenges and the future of Urdu journalism.
Representing Jammu and Kashmir, Raja Mohiuddin, editor of daily Tameel-i-Irshad, shed light on the current scenario of Urdu journalism, and the future challenges facing it.
In his speech, Raja Mohiuddin said that Urdu journalism is growing day by day in Jammu and Kashmir. For its promotion and reaching new heights, he said, the Urdu newspapers have a pivotal role to play. He said while other forms of media made inroads in most of the globe, Jammu and Kashmir has largely unaffected. “The reason for this is that the people of Jammu and Kashmir still have a lot of passion and love for Urdu and they still consider newspapers as a reliable source of information”.
He said that although the volume of print media decreased due to various reasons, the newspapers made their presence felt in the digital world as per the requirements of the current situation.
“Today the daily Tameel-i-Irshad which is a multi-circulation newspaper in Urdu language in Jammu and Kashmir, has significant presence on digital platform,” he said, adding, “Now the demand for delivery of news and other relevant content has increased and this has led to the more demand of the newspapers here than in the past.”
Expressing his opinion regarding the future of Urdu journalism, Raja Mohiuddin said that the future of Urdu journalism in Jammu and Kashmir is bright. At the same time, he stressed on the need for more “proactive steps”. “All-round efforts are needed in this regard. Myriad challenges are being faced by the print media in general across the country including Jammu and Kashmir. One of them is financial challenge.”
He said that the printing of newspapers is becoming difficult day by day because the printing materials are becoming expensive at the national level and newsprint and other printing materials are available at costly prices for the printing houses.
He said that during the last one year, the printing materials prices have increased by almost 50% which the newspapers and readers here cannot afford to bear. “There is more reliance on digital platforms.”
In this regard, he said, not only at the regional level but at the national level, all print and electronic media representatives should form an association that can highlight these issues and take up the same with the Prime Minister and other relevant ministries at the Center. “Issues such as balancing or subsidizing the prices of print materials should be worked out.”
He said that this work needs to be done in an effective manner on a large scale. In this regard, he said, the newspaper organizations published in Urdu, English, Hindi or other languages have to decide a plan together.
“Media is a social service. It performs and acts as a bridge between the government and the people.”
Raja Mohiuddin said that in absence of the robust private sector in Jammu and Kashmir, there is absolute scarcity of advertising when compared to big cities or states. “In such a scenario, the newspaper industry is heavily dependent on the government’s information and public relation department. The official advertisements provide oxygen to the newspaper sector here.”
At present, he said, there are less than 300 newspapers published in Jammu and Kashmir and the source of income of most of the newspapers is the advertisements of the Information Department. “These institutions also create employment resources, which is a good practice in a difficult geographical region like Jammu and Kashmir.”
In his concluding remarks, Raja Mohiuddin said the Urdu newspapers and Urdu journalism in Jammu and Kashmir is in safe hands and there is strong hope that this sector will grow further.