It is reassuring for newspapers to hear a technology maven say there’s a future for them in a world of instant communications. Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt believes there will still be space for print amid the changes taking place.
His “subscriptions and sponsorship” projection driving the new model for newspaper readers, who can get printed editions every day plus online access to in-depth material on any subject of interest, is hugely positive.
Google, as a trusted friend of netizens looking for everything from a street address to a restaurant location, has leapfrogged in the tech stakes to become one of the leaders of the new world. In the midst of this amazing transformation, it has been a trusted friend of the media too, reflecting Schmidt’s philosophy of “much greater transparency and no anonymity” on technology in cyberspace.
Given Schmidt’s personal role in ensuring Barack Obama’s re-election, besides the proven power of the Internet and social media to garner votes, politicians too gravitated to the Google’s recent New Delhi summit.
It is good that communications minister Kapil Sibal reiterated the government was “wedded to the freedom of expression”. Google would be even more of a trusted friend if it can convince a populous democracy to act as it says.