WAN-IFRA India 2012
Envisaging a jou rney of change
- with a call for the newspaper industry to embrace the crossmedia model
Attracting more than 350 delegates from 22 countries, the 20th annual WAN-IFRA India 2012 Conference (Sept 26-27) concluded successfully in Pune, envisaging a journey of change, with a call for the newspaper industry to embrace the crossmedia model. The conference draws much significance in the backdrop of the digital media revolution facing the South Asian news publishing industry in one hand and the challenge of managing the growth of print media business on the other hand. Aiming to provide direction for the future of the news publishing business, the conference comprised of three parallel sessions – a Newsroom Summit for editors, a Crossmedia Advertising Summit for advertising managers and a Printing Summit for printing managers. More than 20 suppliers of various products and services to the newspaper printing and publishing industry also participated in the event to promote their offerings, including: 4CPlus, 5Fifteen, Atex, binuscan, CCI, Comyan, Elite Infosoft, Fujifilm, Goss International, manroland web systems, MediaSpan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Printing & Packaging Machinery Ltd (MHI-P&PM), MobStac, Mosca Strapping Solutions, Newstech India, OneVision, ppi Media, Quark, Summit Information Technologies, TPH, //wifag, etc.

Inauguration in progress!
Organized by WAN-IFRA and co-sponsored by The Indian Newspaper Society (INS), the biggest ever event for news publishers in South Asia, WAN-IFRA India 2012 Conference was inaugurated by Pichai Chuensuksawadi, editor-in-chief of The Post Publishing Public Co Ltd, Thailand, PG Pawar, chairman, Sakaal Media Group and Jacob Mathew, president of WAN-IFRA, in Pune. "Today, the media industry is facing different kinds of challenges from all fronts. The initiatives taken by WAN-IFRA in organising the media event in Pune this year is most relevant to publishers and editors as the future belongs to those who accept new ideas and innovation. The tools and modes of news gathering, editing, printing and distribution are changing at a quick pace. We need to equip ourselves to face the new business challenges,” said Jacob Mathew in his opening address at the two-day conference. “We must be paid for our content which is used by anyone in any form,” he emphasized.

“The newspaper business will coexist with other media platforms, as long as news publishers are open to change and put the interest of readers in the front,” said Pichai Chuensuksawadi, delivering the keynote address of the conference. “In order to grow, news publishers should be willing to take advantage of the growth of other media and equip their organisations with necessary knowledge, infrastructure and manpower,” he said, emphasizing that change requires clear goals, commitment against resistance, staff involvement, making tough decision, and the right people with right mindset. In his welcome note PG Pawar introduced Pune as a city of change and reconfirmed the focus on Asia regarding newspaper industry.

Applying automation…

Speaking on how much automation does one need to achieve operational excellence, Peter Kirwan, vice president sales, Goss Graphic Systems Australasia gave overview of a new range of simple presses. He talked about different models of web presses, splicers, blankets, dampening systems, folders, inking, etc, highlighting Goss expertise its domain. In his presentation, Peter Kuisle, member of the executive board, manroland web systems GmbH (Germany) mentioned that goals of automation are: less personnel, waste, energy and time; more editions; standardization and constant quality. “One Touch is the highest level of automation,” he emphasized, elaborating their ‘One Touch Philosophy’, which include innovations for fully automated printing process: automation of job changeover with APL and APL logistics, inline control systems for constant quality during the print run. Kuisle also gave examples of realization of this philosophy in COLORMAN autoprint.

Table top expo participants interacting with delegates
Takashi Uchiu, VP sales department, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Printing & Packaging) Ltd spoke about automation and compact press for newspaper production in India. “With increasing newsprint cost, other material cost and personnel cost, Indian newspaper publishers will be required to have more automation to reduce waste copies, and more advance automation to guarantee uniform high print quality,” he said. Takashi also mentioned the success of DIAMONDSPIRIT at The Hindu MMN plant, applying automation. While briefing about their strengths and performance of the year, Noel McEvoy, director sales & marketing, WIFAG Maschinenfabrik AG (Switzerland) said that automation in implemented to increase productivity and predictable quality beyond that possible with current human labour so as to realize economies of scale. In broad sense, true operational excellence seeks to optimize the business as a whole.

In a session chaired by RD Bhatnagar, CTO, DB Corp Ltd, on how does automation helps optimise operational costs, Snehasis Chandra Roy, associate vice president - manufacturing, ABP Pvt Ltd presented a significant case study.

Digital asset…monetization

Another interesting topic discussed in the Printing Summit was digital asset management. Is digital asset management system a necessity for today’s publishing environment? What does it offer? Is it the backbone of the newsrooms today or just the end of the production process? How to get the best out of digital asset management systems – What are the features to look for and how to select the right system to suit the needs? Anand Srinivasan, research engineer, WAN-IFRA, India; Peter Resele, managing director, Comyan GmbH (Germany); and Anita Pujari, general manger, research, archives and syndication, DNA tried to answer such questions in their presentations.

Tackling the issues…

Managing the newsprint variable, what is the way forward, increasing newsprint cost, predicted shortage of newsprint, quality factor and newsprint waste reduction, and how newspaper houses are planning to tackle the issues: debated during a panel discussion, with panelists: George Jacob, director, Malayala Manorama; Sanat Hazra, technical director, The Times of India; and Sandeep Gupta, executive president, Jagran Prakashan.

Karadkhedkar Mukund, Bosch, India, and Teruo Fujita, former president, Shizuoka Shimbun Production Company (Japan) presented case studies focusing on ‘lean production: least wastage and highest efficiency’. CJ Jassawalla, executive director-printing, Thomson Press (India) gave an interesting presentation on driving operational excellence and real teamwork with publishers to achieve ‘100 percent on time in full delivery performance’.

Grow green…

Speaking about how green is newspaper printing, Manfred Werfel, interim CEO, WAN-IFRA (Germany) suggested, “Grow green in three steps: analyse your status, verify emissions and compensate emissions, reduce emissions and energy consumption.” “By growing green one can demonstrate responsibility, gain competitive advantage, attract new customers, lower the energy cost. With this, the customers can distinguish themselves, show their future orientation, and improve their market acceptance,” he added. While in a session on ‘Green publishing’, chaired by Sanat Hazra, technical director, The Times of India, S Karthik, senior manager - maintenance and Peter Britto, chief manager - production, TOI talked about green initiatives at The Times of India and how they have benefitted. Joseph Saldanha, general manager, plant administration division, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (India) also shared their green initiatives, which may be beneficial for the newspaper industry.

On newsroom…

Aimed at editors, managing editors, news editors, sub-editors, chief reporters, new media professionals and those who are involved in leading and managing newsrooms in a multiple media environment, the Newsroom Summit South Asia also proved thought provoking activity at WAN-IFRA India 2012 Conference. In this summit, Erik Bjerager, president - World Editors Forum interestingly presented top trends in journalism, including: newsrooms are increasingly outsourced, two-speed journalism now a reality, long form journalism is on the rise, newsrooms come in many organizational models, breaking news is digital, data journalism accepted as a discipline, info-graphics dominate the web, barriers between print and broadcast shrink, video is becoming a social affair, more momentum from mobile. Social media enrich journalism, social media talent will invigorate our editorial staff, digital training is necessary, reporters are better curators than bloggers and aggregators, journalism must be found, all-round newspapers are challenged online by big tabloids (quality journalism become niche), and ethics – going back to basics.

In today’s world the breaking news does not wait till the next day morning. News is broken in twitter and other social networks as it develops. Social networks are easy to use and followed by millions. Focusing on how to use it effectively, R Sukumar, editor, Mint, HT Media Ltd presented an overview about newsroom of the future. Yann Pineau, senior director, Continuous Improvement, La Presse (Canada) talked about how to improve operational efficiency of editors in today’s publishing environment. Integration of video elements in storytelling was discussed by Markus Bohnisch, video journalist (Germany). Sambit Bal, editor, ESPNCricinfo.com shared their experiences about sports journalism on the web. M Kesava Menon, editor, The Mathrubhumi also gave a presentation on achieving audience attention through social campaigns.


Being the lifeblood of newspapers, advertising is under going a radical transformation with increasing impact of digital platforms. The Crossmedia Advertising Summit provided an understanding of the changes through case studies and demonstrate how media companies can benefit from these changes. While Eamonn Byrne, business director, The Byrne Partnership, UK talked about cross media advertising – the opportunities and the challenges, and is crossmedia advertising at the cost of cannibalizing your print revenue? Pointing out three major challenges - ideation, creative, planning, Gyan Gupta, business head, IMCL, DB Corp presented an interesting case study on approaches of 360 degree advertising. Gehan Blok, head-digital media, Wijeya Newspapers Ltd (Sri Lanka) shared their experience how they manage the multimedia revenue operations. “We, as newspapers, have the pulse of our communities and are best placed to drive open innovation,” conveyed Aritra Sarkar, vice president-strategy, ABP Pvt Ltd in his presentation. Sunil Mutreja, executive director, Amar Ujala Publication Ltd talked about crossmedia opportunities to maximize revenue – perspective from a regional language newspaper. Manajit Ghoshal, managing director & CEO, Mid-Day Infomedia gave a presentation on a multimedia campaign to engage the readers. Social media strategy of BBC was shared by Vincent Sider, vice president, social media, BBCWorldwide, United Kingdom. Speaking on how to create exciting digital niche products, Stéphane Carpetnier, creative director, Ringier Studios (Vietnam) emphasized that niche products can engage a specific audience and if it can demonstrate a social utility it can attract and support the main product. Alok Sanwal, CEO and editor, i-Next also shared their strategies and innovations to engage the young, and how the business has grown under these strategies.
Prominent delegates in relaxed atmosphare!

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