Sri Lankan newspaper group Wijeya Newspapers Ltd awarded with WAN-IFRA’s first standardised printing certification in South Asia
Recognising their consistent high quality printing in accordance to relevant international industry standards, Wijeya Newspapers Ltd (WNL), a leading newspaper group in Sri Lanka, has been awarded with the Certificate for Standardised Printing by WAN-IFRA. In an exclusive chat with All About Newspapers, Janaka Rathnakumara, COO-GM of Wijeya Newspapers Ltd, says the certification is yet another milestone of their 40 years journey.
Established in the year 1979, Wijeya Newspapers Ltd boasts of a state-of-the-art production plant at Hokandara, which is equipped with advanced machines and equipment, and they follow relevant international industry standards regarding colour correction, optimised pre-press workflow and standardised materials. In recognition of such attribute, WAN-IFRA has awarded the newspaper group with the Certificate for Standardised Printing—a first-of-its-kind certification ever conferred on a newspaper group in South Asia. Janaka Rathnakumara received the WAN-IFRA ISO 12647-3 quality international standard certificate from Lisa MacLeod, Vice President of WAN-IFRA at the WAN-IFRA India 2019 Conference held on September 18 & 19 at Gurugram in Delhi-NCR. “With such international recognition we would do a remarkable change in the Sri Lankan printing industry. We are uplifting our quality of printing to a global level,”he mentions.
WAN-IFRA introduced the Certificate for Standardised Printing in 2005. This quality analysis is primarily based on internationally accepted standards for newspaper production. This certification assures the readers and advertisers that the printed newspaper has been produced by the best possible technical processes. Main objective of the certification is to optimise the production processes at pre-press and press divisions of the particular newspaper house.
In order to achieve the certification, newspaper houses have to prove that they print consistently high quality over a period of six months. In addition to the printing tests, a WAN-IFRA consultant carries out an on-site audit to check the quality assurance mechanism. The management of WNL agreed for the certification project in May 2018 and then Janaka created a separate team to run the certification project. The decision was a huge leap for the brand WNL. Prabhu Natrajan, Research Engineer, WAN-IFRA South Asia Pvt Ltd, carried out the audit and approved for the certification.
Certificate for Standardised Printing is valid for two years; but it can be extended by repeating the successful printing tests and audit all over again. Each successful certification will earn newspaper houses two stars and will take two steps closer to obtaining membership in the Star Club of WAN-IFRA, which is awarded to a company in recognition of outstanding printing quality. From India, Anandbazar Patrika (ABP) and The Printers (Mysore) Pvt are members in the club.
“Achievement of the Certificate of Standardised Printing is my pride as the leader of WNL’s Quality Management System, uplifting the group to this level with strong support from my management and dedicated team,” says Janaka. He adds that the production plant of WNL was upgraded to a state-of-the-art facility in 2006 as they transformed traditional image setters into CtP technologies, introduced sound proof newsroom, stayed away from the use of hazardous chemicals and so on.
WNL publishes a string of widely circulated national newspapers viz. Lankadeepa, Adha, Daily Mirror and Daily Financial Times. The portfolio also consists of weeklies and magazines published in all three national languages of Sri Lanka, such as weekend paper The Sunday Times and society journals like Hi!!, Lanka Woman and Guys Only. Bilindu from the group is dedicated for kindergarten kids.
“Complementing the print editions and extending our global readership, we maintain a handful of online news and information websites of the national dailies as well as others including Mirror Sports, Tamil Mirror, LW, Vijay TV and Hi TV. We hold 50 percent market share in Sri Lanka,” mentions Janaka. Tamil Mirror is a 24-hour breaking news site in Tamil and Vijay TV aims at Tamil speaking millennial audience. Janaka informs that WNL meets the country’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity, serving a wide spectrum of audiences of all age groups from different walks of life.
Year after year, products, people and services of WNL are honoured with coveted national and international awards from different organisations like SLIM-Nielsen, Superbrand, Editors Guild, Sri Lanka Association of Printers and others. Certificate for Standardised Printing from WAN-IFRA is the latest in the list.