#Opinion: Soft Copies Continue To Threaten The Existence of Hard Copies

The fight for relevance between softcopy and hard copy publications continues as it not only affects media houses but also educational publications. The digital media seems to be a threatening force to wipe out the existence of paper versions of media.

In this computer age where almost everything is computerised, most argue that the electronic versions of literature are more relevant. On this premise, news publications especially in Zimbabwe, have gone live on the internet coming up with digital products. Such media publications include those under the largest media publisher Zimpapers like The Herald, BH24, H-Metro, SportsZone , NewsDay among others. 

By David Zvina

The media industry is making most of their money from advertisements in the printout Broadsheets and tabloids. On the contrary, advert volumes are driven more via the digital route leading to most advertisers preferring flighting on websites. 

Newspaper readers fancy  reading news on the websites more than the hardcopies.

Bindura University of Science and Education student Takudzwa Chipunza said he used to think reading hard copy books meant one is a book worm until he got baptised in the way of Digital books.

A commuter (L) reads on a Kindle e-reader while riding the subway in Cambridge, Massachusetts March 18, 2011. Publishers are adapting to rising sales of e-books, and the popularity of smart phones and tablets such as the iPad. The retail landscape has changed with Amazon becoming the dominant seller of books while countless book stores go the way of video rental stores. America's No. 2 book store chain, Borders, is bankrupt. Some authors have dropped their publishers entirely, self-publishing online and using social media to connect with readers. Picture taken March 18, 2011. To match Special Report PUBLISHING/EBOOKS/ REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES -

A commuter (L) reads on a Kindle e-reader while riding the subway in Cambridge, Massachusetts March 18, 2011.

“During our first days at college, spending time in the library for the part proved to be statement that you were determined to reach greater heights. We used to carry the huge book around but one thing that attracted my attention was the alarming number of part 2, 3, 4 or 5 students that you saw in the library which was either very few or even zero at times.
“As time moved on we finally caught up with the secret that enabled the older student to abscond the library and the secret was called internet.Not only has the internet enabled students to search and read books on- line and at home without having to go through the task of waiting in line to get the books they want, it has also enabled them to attain latest information there and then. Yet books need to be revised and edited for them to be up to date with modern trend,” he said.

However, there are old school bookies who prefer the print versions of books to the digital copies. They cite their eyes cannot acclimatise to the soft copy versions.

“We are indeed living in an era where the computers are taking over but lets face it, classic items rule. I prefer reading my stuff as printed publications especially retro stuff which are unfortunately missing on the digital space,” said one Munashe Chitunge.

With endless possibilities that the digital age offers, going to the library for printed books is a thing of the past as one can research on the go via a tablet, smartphone and even a laptops. Corporates such as Econet Wireless Zimbabwe have created platforms such as the Ecoschool and Ruzivo E Learning after realising that students are rapidly reading their literature online

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