After months of being in the ‘revamp’ mode, Indi Media Company Pvt Ltd, the promoters of NewsX, have made their first move by announcing the rebranding of NewsX channel as Independent Media Network (IMN) News. The new-look channel will be unveiled within a few months and be accompanied with a similarly redesigned website, IPTV service and mobile TV.
Enter WAN-IFRA on Google search and 243,000 links immediately pop up. The numbers speak volumes on the scale and magnitude of the event that is being held in Hyderabad, the first ever in South Asia. But then here comes the corollary: members affiliated to WAN-IFRA, led by the erstwhile management team, want answers from Google and other content aggregators on the rampant use – or abuse – by users that is burning a hole in the pockets of publishers.
After three days of unending inflow of ideas surrounding print and its future post the digital invasion, Day 4 of WAN-IFRA 2009 began with an outright discussion on ‘The resourceful newspaper company: achieving business efficiency and creating a sustainable future’ that chose to examine how costs and efficiency were vital for newspaper companies, especially during turbulent economic times.
Of the several roles that the web essays, the most prominent is that of being an ‘enabler’ – an enabler of information, of ideas, of innovation, of providing new business models, etc. And if the panelists at the 16th World Editors Forum are to be believed, when it comes to the media world, even the journalists are not immune to being ‘enabled’ by the web.
“We know it is the hardest topic, but we prefer to go further and come up with a formula,” said the duo of Inaki Palacios and Francisco Amaral, Directors, Cases i Associates, as they began their presentation at the session on ‘Content monetization – a lot to do… but at any price!’ on Day 3 of the World Newspaper Congress.
“While free newspapers are still available and are very valuable, can we imagine quality journalism without print newspapers?” this question was posed by Xavier Vidal-Folch, Deputy Editor, El Pais, Spain, as he sought to get the panellists to air their views on where print as a medium was heading. The session on ‘The future of journalism versus the future of newspapers’ had Jaideep Bose, Paul Johnson, Mahfuz Anam, and Martim Figueiredo, among its panellists.
To commemorate the exemplary work done by journalists who defy every odd in the book to put forth a defining picture of truth, WAN-IFRA presented the 2009 Golden Pen of Freedom Award to Najam Sethi, Editor-in-Chief, Friday Times and Daily Times, Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Sethi called upon the editors of today to essay a diverse role and become managers rather than remain plain journalists.
After the combined introductory session on ‘World Trends in Newspaper Industry’ by Timothy Balding, Co-CEO, WAN-INFRA, the first maiden session of the 62nd World Newspaper Congress – ‘Newspapers: A Multi-Media, Growth Business’ – extended the view of the threat of digital evolution for the print industry. Eamonn Byrne chaired the session, while the panellists included Les Hilton, Andreas Wiele, and Paul Jansen.
Timothy Balding, Co-CEO, WAN-IFRA, highlighted several global trends in his presentation ‘World Trends in the Newspaper Industry’ at the 62nd World Newspaper Congress and 16th World Editors Forum in Hyderabad. He maintained that despite the problems of falling advertising revenues and pressure from new competitors, the global newspaper industry was far from facing an ‘apocalypse’.
The afternoon session of the opening day of the 62nd World Newspaper Congress and WAN-IFRA 2009 was devoted to ‘The Internet – A Maturing Medium’. The panel comprising international experts mulled on the use of digital media to turnaround newspapers’ fortunes and presented case studies from around the world.