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First WAN-IFRA ‘Young Reader Summit’
in India concludes successfully

Interaction session! Somayya A Jabarti, managing editor, Arab News, a Saudi Research & Publishing Co publication interacting with a speaker.
Presently, multimedia world, attracting the young to read newspapers, and retain them has always been a challenge. The reader’s time is fragmented due to the developments in technology and the availability of media friendly e-devices. Organised to provide insights into attracting young readers to newspaper, by looking into successful, award winning young reader initiatives of newspapers in India and abroad, the India’s first WAN-IFRA ‘Young Reader Summit’ concluded successfully in New Delhi on March 28, 2011. The summit was attended by around 100 delegates from various newspapers and associated agencies from India and overseas.

The introductory presentation about young readers was given by Dr Aralynn McManne, executive director, WAN-IFRA Young Readership Development. She also presented a round up of 2010 World Young Reader Prize winners, the WAN-IFRA initiative recognising best young reader development projects. Giving an interesting presentation, Dr Gerard van der Weijden, WAN-IFRA associate consultant, explained how more and more young readers can be attracted for newspapers.

What are the strategies adopted by The Times of India to maintain its leading position as the infotainment source for the young in the Google era were presented by Anshul Chaturvedi, editor-City Supplements, The Times of India. Angela Ravazzolo, education editor, Zero Hora, Brazil spellbound attendees by her presentation on introducing younger thinking into the newspaper without alienating older readers. She divulged how they increase their base among youths by launching around a dozen supplements for the main newspapers, apart from attracting them through participation in various competitions.

The presentation by Alok Sanwal, project head & editor, i next illustrated how i next as a newspaper has been successful in engaging its readers by means of various events and brand led, highly focused activations facilitated amongst various interest groups, formed from a larger community of readers. “As the youth of today is known to be evasive, rebellious and nonchalant, some marketers could go as far as calling them indifferent or full of apathy. They for sure are highly unpredictable in their choices. To target such an elusive group i next has devised a framework: i next Youth-o-sphere,” he mentioned, adding, “The target audience shares a few common characteristics like – fun, non-conformism, energy and freedom which become the dedicated drivers for our content and every communication carried out across media.”

How does The Telegraph position themselves to attract the young readers revealed Dipanjan Dutta, corporate manager - The Telegraph in Schools (TTIS), ABP Pvt Ltd. Samyak S Chakrabarty, chief youth marketer, Mudra Concrea presented a portrait of today’s youth and perspectives and insisted on the need to start a constructive dialogue with the younger readers. He also discussed about different engagement strategies for youths from both urban as well as rural areas.


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