Sakal Times completes 10 years today. This last decade has perhaps seen more changes happening in the media industry than ever before. A decade ago, an animal called ‘social media’ was just born! People started for the first time hearing about a gadget called the ‘smart phone’ and only the rich, urban class was getting to know that there is some platform called ‘Facebook’ on which you can communicate with friends!
Today, not just in cities but in every village in the country everybody has a mobile phone, people are posting selfies on social media on a daily basis, news-views-opinions, everything gets expressed mainly on your mobile phone screen and life has gone digital 24/7.
We, at Sakal Times, look at these changes positively. We feel the proliferation of technology and spread of information is a good change for society and an ordinary citizen being able to express his or her views on some media platform is a positive change too.
However, there are certain pitfalls which cannot be ignored. The menace of ‘fake news’, the threat of rumours getting spread on social media like wildfire, the use of social media by vested interest groups, are some very dangerous trends that worry us.
We strongly believe that at such a juncture, trust is the most important aspect which has to be valued by society and this publication wants to assure that we will protect that trust factor which our readers have when they look at us for news, views and information.
It’s a fact that the world over, the printed word has more credibility than some text appearing on the screen. If you go by the amount of fake information being spread on social media through various networks, you would know the value of the trust that is associated with a traditional media brand.
Though our presence on the web gives us a worldwide reach, we are primarily a Pune-based publication and are concerned about the wellbeing of Puneites. We think of what Pune was in 2008 and what it is now? Do the citizens think the quality of life in this city has improved or has it become worse? Most would perhaps think that despite new civic amenities being added in the past one decade life perhaps has become more hectic, stressful and uncertain compared to what Pune was 10 years ago!
We would like to participate in all efforts anybody takes up to make life better in the city. Think of the environment, the air we breathe, the water we consume, the roads we use, the way we dispose our garbage... all of this needs to improve. On the one hand, we are becoming global citizens, connecting to the rest of the world faster and more frequently than before, but on the other, our lives have become more uncertain, unsafe and shorter than earlier. What can we do to help change this, should be the focus for us in the coming months and years.
On our 10th anniversary, we thank our readers, advertisers, distributors and well-wishers for their continued support and we hope we can do our bit in improving the lives of citizens of Pune.
— Editor Sakal Times