While an advanced search tool such as Nalanda Analytics (or Nalytics) is extremely helpful for the media professionals, it should be used with care in the Indian context, where the journalistic exercise is heavily focused on the big cities.
First we should understand what exactly is Nalanda Analytics, brought by the OLM Group. It is an advanced search tool that helps a person to search, sort and analyse big data related to a topic in a concentrated manner. Hence, it is more advanced than search engines such as Google. For example, Google displays a lot of pages related to a search term and stacks them to the searcher. Many of these pages may not be directly related to the actual information being searched. A lot of time is spent in trawling through all these pages to get the relevant information out. Nalanda Analytics makes it more precise. Only the information directly relevant to the search term is presented by this search tool, sorted out in the order desired and analytics along various co-ordinates presented to the searcher. This is obviously very relevant and makes the search easy for the person. Hence, it is being advertised as a journalists’ advanced search tool. While this may be true for the developed countries such as UK, we need to consider whether it is equally helpful in a country like India.
India happens to be a country where the journalistic scene is highly focused on the large cities and especially on Delhi. Most of the news that run in media channels are from these urban metropolitan areas, with very little focus on the rural areas and small cities. In such a situation, an analytics search tool such as Nalanda Analytics will help the journalists to further sharpen the focus on the large cities, about which there is already a large trove of information online. There is a risk that the rural areas and smaller towns may further recede into background in media coverage because the Internet doesn’t have much information on them in the first place. Finding data on large cities will become even easier and on smaller places will become more difficult and hence, not very attractive an exercise for a journalist.
Hence, there is a serious need to report the news from rural and smaller areas of India and place them online. If an advanced search analytics tool such as Nalanda Analytics is used along with this exercise, then the entire country can get integrated into the exercise of journalistic coverage. This is obviously not because of the Nalytics technology, but because of the need for the media coverage to be diversified.