I have just returned from the Asian Publishers Convention in Bangkok. Next week I fly to Cambodia to initiate the building of a school though my charity Neighbours in need.

The APC is a great annual event not to be missed by those in the publishing industry. Speaker after speaker touched on the changes digital media is forcing on the publishers and exhorting the people who produce magazines and newspapers to move with the times. But a delegate from India stood up and pointed that in his country and others in Asia the print media was still expanding.

There was a lot of enthusiasm at this Convention for tablets like iPad which appear a more suitable vehicle for magazines and newspaper than the tiny screens on smartphones. Living in a wired and prosperous country like Singapore, it is easy to share this enthusiasm. The convenience of the iPad was brought home to me on the flight back from the event when I sat next to a lady who did not miss the absence of a screen in the seat back on the budget airline as she watched a movie on her personal tablet.

Yet where I am building the school in Cambodia, there is no electricity, let alone broadband or a handy plug to charge up my phone or laptop. While the kids in Singapore go off to school with an iPhone in their bag or iPod in their ear, the rural Cambodian children will be leaving school at 11 years old to work in the fields.

Obviously as you are reading this comment online, both you and I have embraced the new technology but as communicators we have to remember despite the impressive numbers the digital industry spews out regularly, the majority of the world is still grateful for the printed word.

Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!