Publish Asia 2018 in Bali to strengthen power and presence of print in the digital era

Taking place on April 24-26 in Bali, Indonesia, Publish Asia 2018 is going to explore what value propositions the leading platforms can currently make to publishers and how media companies are adjusting to the latest market developments. The three days of the event will set a new networking platform for Asian news publishers with respect to a global perspective.

More than 400 media executives from over 30 different countries will gather at the Publish Asia 2018 for master classes, conference sessions and networking events. Oxford University and Harvard Business School researcher Greg Piechota will lead a one-day master class on Digital Platforms Strategy for News Publishers. The event will unfold key insights on how to keep innovating in print without missing out the key transformations that are required to prepare for a digital-centric future.

Emphasis on print

Every year, Publish Asia’s conference addresses the management and business issues facing newspaper publishers and examines emerging new business models and revenue streams. It focuses on repositioning and optimising today’s news publishing business with an emphasis on print, which represents the core of the industry.

The event also offers a dedicated sessions focusing on the challenges facing editors, newsroom managers and journalists today. This includes new initiatives, trends and solutions but also some of the heavyweight issues of concern to editors, including challenges to press freedom, the safety of journalists and sustainability.

Day 1 master-classes

In the master-classes workshop session ‘Digital Platform Strategy for News Publishers’ there will be intensive, practical, and case study-based course for managers of legacy and pure play digital news media companies. This programme appeals to those responsible for digital strategy, editorial, marketing, sales and new product development. Based on Harvard Business School teaching methods, the course will lead participants to use various digital business frameworks useful to analyse case studies and plan future initiatives at their respective companies. The tools practiced at workshops will help participants to develop strategies, plans and new business concepts useful for their home market.

After this workshop the participants will understand the key trends in the advanced media markets — such as the rise of digital platforms, the increasing role of data and technology intermediaries — and their impact on news consumer behaviour and business models of news media companies. Also, they can understand the way the internet giants like Google, Facebook and others make money and how different is their operating and revenue model from the one of legacy news media such as The New York Times and digital pure players such as Buzzfeed. Grzegorz Piechota, researcher, University of Oxford and Harvard Business School will be among the speakers in the session.

In the next session of the workshop titled ‘Collaborative Investigative Journalism’ the objective will be to explain how collaborative investigative journalism projects such as the Panama Papers or the Paradise Papers were launched, managed and published. The workshop will equip participants with key insights and skills for enhancing investigative journalism within their newsrooms. It will also guide them on the kind of projects they could work on their local markets and help them identify projects that would benefit from a national, regional or global collaboration. Speakers at the session will be Scilla Alecci, investigative reporter and video journalist, ICIJ and Wahyu Dhyatmika, investigative reporter and editor, Tempo Media Group.

For the master-classes, the speakers will deliver a package of original readings – description of case studies, articles explaining certain theories, excerpts from new books and questions that will be discussed in the classroom. Participants will be expected to read them before the workshop. Therefore during the actual sessions they will focus on discussion and analysis of the case studies instead of learning about them for the first time.

Day 2 sessions

In the Session 1: Media Trends and Outlook 2018 at the onset of the conference, presentation will be on global trends and outlook for news media companies identified in WAN-IFRA’s latest research. It will also discuss the latest technological developments that are impacting the media industry and how publishers are responding.

In the follow-up, Session 2: Reassessing News Publishing Business Models will analyse the constant changes in the print and digital advertising ecosystem and the rapid evolution of news consumption trends compel news publishers to permanently reassess the relevancy of their business strategies.

While the structural changes impacting the news publishing industry are same all around the world, every media company faces the challenge to formulate unique answers, perfectly fitted to its brand, culture, content mix, audience and market conditions. This session will feature inspiring monetisation solutions and emphasise how successful media companies intend to foster an internal culture of innovation which allows them to rapidly adapt to an ever changing media world.

‘Brand Safety, Ad Transparency and Sales Efficiency’ is the topic of the Session 3, in which the discourse will be on digital advertising market, concern of advertisers over brand safety, low viewability and fraud. According to ComScore, a leading media measurement and analytics company, an average of 46 percent of display and 51 percent of video ads do not have the opportunity to be seen, while 6 percent of display and 10 percent of video ads are subject to invalid traffic.

Another discussion on ‘Cashing on Trust Currency’ in the session will revolve around rebuilding and strengthening trust in news that remains a major challenge for securing the future sustainability of quality journalism. Legacy media organisations must adapt their editorial practices to the immediacy of the social media era. While retaining the highest journalism standards, news media must embrace new production and distribution tools and pro actively consolidate their brands.

Session 4 will be on the topic ‘What Now With Platforms?’ Will the recently announced changes in Facebook’s news feed be a game changer for news publishers? Although the most commented move might have only a marginal impact for most legacy media, establishing a relevant relationship with large digital platforms nonetheless remains a critical component of any digital publishing strategy. This session will explore what value propositions leading platforms can currently make to publishers and how media companies are adjusting to the latest market developments

Day 3 sessions

The third last day of the conference will open with the Session 5 titled ‘Improving Audience Engagement with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Smart Data. While data has been a hot topic for news publishers for already several years, AI has definitely caught the headlines in the past 12 months. Still, most media organisations remain unclear about the kind of resources and investment they should make in order to effectively benefit from these technologies in a way that is adapted to their operations size and business culture. In the session, discussion will be on how can multimedia groups connect with readers in new and deeper ways and increase the impact and ROI of their news content. And the discourse will continue with the latest trends in using AI and Smart Data for multiplying touch points across news publishers’ content portfolios and increasing revenue per user.

Importance of printed newspapers

With a highlight of the importance of print, Session 6 will focus on ‘High-Value Print Production’. Despite having been written off countless times in the past about the end of printed newspapers, the medium is stubbornly refusing to die. In connection to this, the discussion in this session will be the competition with lower-priced and faster digital news distribution channels, in which print retains unique advantages in terms of user experience and advertising impact. By investing in materials and equipment for the production of higher-quality print products, publishers can strengthen this competitive edge, attract new customers, develop new products and enter new markets. Innovation in print production can also help optimising the utilisation of existing print capacities and improving profit margins.

Session 7 on ‘Journalism That Makes a Difference’ will have speakers talking about news publishers who must more than ever make sure that their journalism is relevant and positively impact their reader’s lives. According to The Washington Post editor Marty Baron, “Readers have to see and feel everyday that we are trying to do something important and unique…” This session will showcase investigative journalism and data journalism projects that really made a difference in the communities they serve. It will also discuss the basic building blocks of investigative journalism such as journalism safety, conflicts dynamics theory, field preparation and gear, etc.

Pulling Gen-X

In a breakout in Session 7, discussion will be on bridging platforms for strengthening print in the digital era. AR, VR and the integration of QR code embedded videos in print classifieds are technologies which can open up new monetisation opportunities, increase readers’ engagement and attract younger audiences towards printed newspapers. In the Session 8 titled ‘Content Marketing, The Right Way’, the discussion will be on ‘native advertising’—its spectacular growth in recent years. With a capacity to produce high quality content and to offer advertisers a secured context for their content, news publishers are ideally positioned to take advantage of this trend.

The Economist and The New York Times have demonstrated that respected media brands can generate attractive profits with branded content, without compromising their credibility or editorial ethics. Many publishers however still struggle for navigating this thin line. In this respect, this concluding session will feature case studies and insights inspiring publishers to build up their native advertising capabilities and increase their profits while avoiding drawbacks and common mistakes.

Asian Media Awards 2018

The 17th Asian Media Awards will aim to promote the highest publishing standards in the fields of newspaper and magazine designs, infographics, printing, editorial content, marketing, community service and photojournalism. Hundreds of newspapers and magazines in Asia Pacific, South Asia and Middle-East have taken part in the competition over the last fifteen years, establishing the Asian Media Awards as the most prestigious recognition of excellence for the news publishing industry in the region.

This year all prize winners will be granted the exclusive usage of a special icon illustrative of their achievement and representing – for each category: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Winners will be entitled to display this distinctive WAN-IFRA recognition of excellence in their publication as well as in all their corporate communications or marketing materials.

The awards will be categorised as under:

Best in Design: This award will be presented to entries whose overall design, originality and content have achieved levels of excellence deserving of recognition.

Best in Editorial Content: This is in recognition of articles published in a newspaper that demonstrate high standards of reporting.

Best in Infographics: Recognising excellence in design, usefulness and clarity of information conveyed in both breaking and non-breaking news, this award recognises the infographic excellence.

Best in Photojournalism: This is an award opening to newspaper and wire service photographers as well as to freelancers working for these media, supplying work to either news, sports or feature agencies or providing content for websites affiliated with newspaper.

Best Newspaper Marketing: In recognition of successful campaigns for marketing this award recognises the news publishing company’s brand or image to readers in order to increase circulation and subscriptions to the print product and the overall media brand awareness.

Best in Community Service: This award measures how companies goes beyond their traditional roles of educating and entertaining readers to become an active player in leading and implementing social service campaigns for the benefit of the community it serves.

Best in Print: Participants in the International Newspaper Color Quality Club (INCQC) competition from Asia Pacific, South Asia and Middle East will benefit two folds. This means that they will automatically also participate in the competition for the “Best in Print Awards” and stand two chances to be awarded.

Winners of Asia Media Awards 2017
Winners of Asia Media Awards 2017

Know some key speakers

Grzegorz Piechota
Researcher, University of Oxford and Harvard Business School

As a researcher at University of Oxford (UK) and Harvard Business School (USA), Grzegorz Piechota studies technology-enabled disruption patterns across industries, including news media. His research work at the HBS focuses on digital business model innovations. His project at Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism examines the impact of digital platforms on paid content models of news organisations.

Manfred Werfel

Manfred Werfel is WAN-IFRA deputy CEO, based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is responsible for the expo business of the association. He takes also care of the World Printers Forum, the print community within WAN-IFRA. Since 1996 Werfel is part of WAN-IFRA’s management team. Over time he was responsible for Research, WAN-IFRA Reports, Expert Committees, Consulting, Training, Print Quality Projects, Events, Innovation Projects, World Press Trends, Congress, World Printers Forum and Expo.

Chris Janz
Managing director, Australian Metro Publishing, Fairfax Media

Prior to his current designation, Chris Janz was director of Publishing Innovation. In his current role, Chris oversees The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, WAtoday and Fairfax’s Life Media brands (Traveller, Good Food, Essential Baby, Essential Kids).
Chris was previously the founding CEO of HuffPost Australia, a joint venture between The Huffington Post and Fairfax Media, and has more than 20 years’ experience building market-leading digital media businesses.

Scilla Alecci
Investigative reporter and video journalist, ICIJ

Scilla Alecci is an investigative reporter and video journalist for International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). She heads ICIJ’s Asia Desk, coordinating the investigative work of ICIJ’s partners and members in Asia. A native of Italy, before coming to the US, Scilla was based in Tokyo where she worked for Bloomberg News and other news organisations. In 2016 she was a member of the Japanese reporting team that took part in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers investigation. Her work has also been published by The New York Times, Huffington Post, Japanese magazine Shukan Asahi and others.

Sanat Hazra
Technical and production director, The Times of India

Sanat Hazra studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology, earning BS in Photographic Science & Engineering, MS in Printing Technology and attended Tuck College at Dartmouth University studying Corporate Leadership Program. Before joining The Time of India as technical and production director in 2008, Sanat worked at New York Daily News as VP of production. Sanat dedicated 14 years with The New York Times prior to joining New York Daily News.

Alok Sanwal
COO, Dainik Jagran-inext

Alok Sanwal is COO of Dainik Jagran inext. He is a media professional with experience in the fields of sales, services, brand management, media services and running a print media set up. Alok is a communication post-graduate from MICA & an engineering graduate from BITS, Pilani. He started his career in 1993. He was previously COO & editor of inext, managing content and business of publication, the bilingual compact size daily from Jagran Prakashan Ltd. Prior to that, he was VP of Jagran Prakashan Ltd.

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