Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said print media needs to accept the challenges put forth by the digital and information age. He was speaking on the occasion of the release of the 59th Annual Report on Print Media­ "Press in India 2014­-15", which has been prepared and compiled by the Registrar of Newspapers for India.

"The Internet revolution and fast-changing technology present a big challenge to print media across the world to maintain its presence and sustained growth. However, India remains an exception, wherein print media registered a growth, owing to an increasing demand and subscriber base for regional newspapers," an official statement from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) quoted him as saying.

Official numbers say print media registered a growth of 5.80% over the previous year, with a total of 5,817 new publications registered during 2014­-15 and 34 publications ceasing operation.

Out of the total 1,05,443 publications registered as on 31 March, 2015, the largest number of newspapers and periodicals registered in any Indian language was in Hindi, with a figure of 42,493 publications, followed by English with 13,661 registered publications, said the I&B Ministry statement.

While 14,984 of the total registered publications were dailies and bi or ­tri-weeklies, the remaining 90,459 were of other periodicities, the statement added.

Speaking on the occasion, Jaitley also said: "Print media has to contend with the information flow disseminating from electronic media, which has weakened the dividing line between news and opinion. The emerging viewpoint has brought a certain shrillness in debates and discussions. Print media, thus, has a role to play in maintaining objectivity and preserving the sacred nature of news."

The minister was also of the opinion that it was time for magazines to step up their game. "It is time for magazine journalism to reinvent itself since the options for readers are expanding due to alternatives such as digital and social media," he said.