Cairo Book Fair discusses future of print media



Thu, 01 Feb 2024 - 10:47 GMT


Thu, 01 Feb 2024 - 10:47 GMT

Cairo Book Fair

Cairo Book Fair

CAIRO - 1 February 2024: The main hall of the Cairo International Book Fair in its 55th session discussed the "Future of Print Media" with the participation of journalist Abdulrazzaq Tawfik, editor-in-chief of Al-Gumhuriya newspaper, and Alaa Abdel-Hadi, editor-in-chief of Akhbar Al-Adab, moderated by journalist Jamal Kashki, editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram Al-Arabi.


Tawfik said that the high turnout of over 2 million visitors to the book fair is a testament to the written word, which has divided opinion. Some say it is time to bury print media, while others say that technological development may force it to change and find its own niche.


Tawfik added: "Some people want to turn the competition between print and electronic media into a conflict, but print media can benefit from electronic media. The world has moved from living in a small village to a room where technology allows people to learn about many issues and events around the world."


He pointed to the many challenges facing print media, the most important of which are economic challenges. He said that the cost of production inputs is constantly increasing, with the price of paper exceeding EGP 56,000 and the price of ink rising significantly. The price of a newspaper is EGP 3, and I cannot increase its cost, while its real cost is over EGP 10.


He also pointed to the problem of distribution and the inability of print media to reach all parts of the country, noting that 25% of the population live in coastal cities and do not receive printed copies.


He added: "Just as we criticize print media, we must also criticize electronic media. The people responsible for electronic media are all generations of print media, so electronic media covers the same content as print media and does not differ from it in any way."


He explained that the relationship between print and electronic media is not a conflict, and that we must be optimistic, provided that the content and content are well developed, a distribution vision is provided that guarantees the arrival of copies to all parts of the country, the benefits of technology are maximized, and a niche is found for print media through analysis and interpretation and finding a different approach by searching for what is behind the scenes, and abandoning traditional coverage.


Alaa Abdel-Hadi said that the survival of print media as a medium is contingent on what it offers the reader. When radio appeared and then television, it did not displace radio, but rather resorted to development and returned in a new guise in the form of "podcasts," which is a more advanced form of radio.


He added that we cannot apply the experience of Japan or India, but rather we must apply a unique Egyptian experience.


He continued: "In the old days, a line in the print media could topple a minister and a wrong word could appear, but the new media is without reference, and when you want to verify the news, you find it very difficult. We are facing media without reference, and in which the essence of the media disappears. Social media directly conveys the news, and we must find a new service that we offer to the reader."


He explained that it is still important to get the news from the source and to find an analyst who sees what I do not see. The survival of print media depends on its ability to keep pace with development and use technology.



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