Wan-Ifra 2018 Conference opens in Hyderabad

The 26th edition of Wan-Ifra India 2018 Conference, organised by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra) was formally inaugurated in Hyderabad on 26 September.

26 Sep 2018 | By Rahul Kumar

The Wan-Ifra India 2018 Conference was formally inaugurated in Hyderabad on 26 September

The two-day event will feature an industry get-together with more than 300 senior publishing executives from over 25 countries, where the participants will gain insights from innovators who are transforming the global media industry.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, KZ Magdoom Mohamed, MD, Wan-Ifra South Asia, said that in a trend reflecting the renewed faith in printed newspapers, print advertisements grew by 5% this year. He said the next year this is expected to grow by 20%.

He also informed that this year, Wan-Ifra will open the World Editor Forum India chapter.

During his keynote address on ‘World Press Trends and future of news publishing’, Vincent Peyrègne, CEO, Wan-Ifra, explained how the Wan-Ifra’s annual report results depict the news media industry increasingly building loyal audiences around high-quality journalism, as content becomes a driving force to sustain readership and circulation.

The main thrust of Peyrègne’s address was the cost of trust. Stating that in 2018, news media was least trusted globally, he reiterated that trust rebounds for journalism in regional publications.

Among the top trends, he said reliance on print is still a reality, so also readership revenue.

At the same time, Peyrègne said the pace of transformation from print to digital is accelerating. “While global print circulation is stable, digital audiences continue to grow,” he said, “There has been 18% increment in revenue compared to 2017. At the same time ad spent share of newspapers has dipped under 10%.

To counter this, Peyrègne said publishers are joining advertisement alliances globally.

The inauguration ceremony was followed by a panel discussion on new technology, and how it is necessary to bridge the gap between editorial, technical and business functions for accomplishing company goals, and surviving in the news media business.

The discussion was moderated by KN Shanth Kumar, director, The Printers (Mysore). Panellists included Mukund Padmanabhan, editor, The Hindu; Sandeep Gupta, executive president, Dainik Jagran; Anand Pandey, national editor, DB Corp; and Sharad Saxena, executive director – operations, HT Media.

Meanwhile, 27 companies have set up stalls at the exhibition held in the sidelines of the conference. These include 4C Plus; ABB; Wellprint; Cadgraf; Facebook; Kapoor Imaging; Krause; Manugraph; Manroland/Goss; Memory; M&M Technologies; News Hub Media; NewsTech; Poddar Global; Protec Media; PPI; Prakash Offset; EAE QIPC; Baldwin; Seiken; Summit; TechNova; Trelleborg; Think Print; SLKCG; and WRH Global.

Like every year, the conference will have two components — World Editors Forum South Asia Summit and World Printers Forum Conference. The World Editors Forum will tackle topics such as digital first approach; journalism and change management; big data and reader engagement, while the World Printers Forum Conference will discuss issues like print media trends and distribution models; operational excellence; quality and process efficiency. Meanwhile future of news media companies will be a common topic for both the conferences.

This is list of speakers at the conference includes such international names like Steve Yelvington, consulting and training services, USA; Vincent Peyrègne; CEO, Wan-Ifra, France; Maria A Ressa; CEO and executive editor, Rappler, Philippines; Thomas Isaksen, CEO, Procurement Association of the Danish Press, Denmark; Fredric Karen, CEO & editor-in-chief, Svenska Dagbladt, Sweden; Manfred Werfel,  deputy CEO, Wan-Ifra; TK Suresh, chief general manager - operations, Jagati Publications; Sandeep Gupta, executive president, Dainik Jagran; Sharad Saxena, executive director – operations, HT Media; Syed Nazakat, founder and editor-in-chief, DataLEADS / CIJ, India; Mukund Padmanabhan, editor, The Hindu, among others.