South Asian News Publishers stress on digitisation & social media for growth

NEW DELHI: Indonesia's Kompas Daily was presented the WAN-IFRA World Young Reader News Publisher of the Year award in Mumbai today.


Nearly 600 delegates from more than 30 countries gathered in the western metropolis for the opening of the WAN-IFRA India 2015 Conference & Expo, which focuses on growth and innovation for South Asian news publishers, who are emerging from two years in a difficult business climate.


Former WAN-IFRA president Jacob Mathew, who is Malayala Manorama executive editor said the Indonesian newspaper “has had a major role in creating new citizens capable of sustaining their own freedom of expression and peaceful change of government, two basic elements for any democracy."


"They are also at the forefront of connecting to the young audience via social media with actions that serve the public, create some fun and teach about journalism," he said.


While South Asia publishers continue to increase their print business, they are also undergoing a digital revolution. The importance of print and digital together was addressed in the conference's keynote address by Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of the English, Malay and Tamil Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings, who spoke about the importance of remaining relevant for a technology savvy population while keeping print alive and kicking.


“Understanding the 24/7 relationship with the audience and knowing, reaching, connecting and engaging them will help transform our industry,” he said.


The conference is accompanied by a biennial expo where more than 65 exhibitors from India and abroad are showcasing their production and services. Vendors offering products and services for the news media industry including printing presses, prepress equipment, editorial systems, archiving systems, digital media management and mobile app developments.


The expo is expected to attract more than 1,500 visitors over three days.


The conference includes three parallel sessions – a Newsroom Summit for editors, a Crossmedia Advertising Summit for advertising, digital and business development managers, and a Printing Summit for production managers. A panel discussion on ‘Censorship of media and the way forward,’ with India’s leading editors is part of the programme.


Speakers include Zero Hora executive director of journalism and World Editors Forum Brazil president Marcelo Rech, Google head of strategic partnerships for South East Asia & India Dushyant Khare, Jonathan Halls & Associates principal Jonathan Halls, The Economist Group digital products revenue global head Ashwin Sridhar, News UK & Ireland Ltd category director – paper & energy Benedicte Gercke, Express Publications (Ceylon) Ltd. in Sri Lanka managing director Kumar Nadesan and AIM Group LLC founding principal Peter Zollman.


WAN-IFRA, based in Paris and Frankfurt with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

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