Wan-Ifra South Asian Digital Media Awards 2017

The awards honor publishers for setting a benchmark with their digital offerings. Photo: Wan-Ifra

Wan-Ifra India 2017 opened in Chennai invoking news publishers to come together and support each other in the face of the serious challenges to press freedom and quality journalism. The event, attended by over 425 media professionals, applauded the award winners of the second edition of South Asian Digital Media Awards 2017.

The awards were presented on 13 September at Wan-Ifra India 2017, the 25th annual silver jubilee conference held in Chennai. A joint initiative by Wan-Ifra and Google, the awards recognize best practice innovation in digital publishing worldwide. The awards are presented in every region—South Asia, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America—and winners from each region subsequently compete for the World Digital Media Awards, which will be announced in Berlin on 10 October during the World Publishing Expo & Digital Content Expo, IFRA/DCX.

This year’s winners were awarded in ten different categories, which included Best News Website, Best Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Website, Best Use of Online Video, Best Data Visualization, Best News Mobile Service, Best Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Mobile Service, Best Innovation New Product, Best Social Media Engagement, Best Digital Advertising Campaign, and Best Innovation to Engage Young Audience.

The Hindu secured the coveted gold award for ‘Best News Website’ while The Quint won silver and NDTV the bronze award. This year also had the introduction of the new category ‘Best Innovation to Engage Youth Audience’ which is a take from Wan-Ifra previous ‘World Young Reader Prize’ and The Hindu won the coveted ‘Gold’ in this category. The gold and silver awards for ‘Best Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Website’ went to Arre.com and Sportstarlive.com, respectively. The Quint had an evening to rejoice as it also won the gold and silver awards for ‘Best Use of Online Video (including VR)’ for its ‘Mannequin Challenge’ and ‘Acid: The story of a beautiful woman.’ The bronze award in this category went to Aajtak.in. The complete list of awards is as follows:

Best Data Visualization
Gold: The Quint – Ganga clean up report
Silver: Pakistan Herald Publications – Banned outfits in Pakistan openly operate in Facebook
Bronze: Pakistan Herald Publications – A Pakistani woman’s workplace dilemma

Best News Mobile Service
Gold: NDTV Convergence
Silver: The Times of India App
Bronze: Malayala Manorama

Best Lifestyle, Sports or Entertainment Mobile Service
Silver: Times Internet Ltd. – World Travel Guide App

Best Innovation New Product
Gold: The Quint – IPL2017 Microsite
Silver: Jang Media Group – Jang Real
Bronze: Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. – The citizen reporter mobile App

Best Social Media Engagement
Gold: The Daily Star – A Mother’s Day Special
Silver: eSakal.com
Bronze: Mathrubhumi ClubFM94.3 – April Fool’s Day
Bronze: NDTV Convergence

Best Digital Advertising Campaign (including Branded Content)
Gold: The Daily Star – Rise High Bangladesh
Bronze: Mathrubhumi.com – Milma Project

Best Innovation to Engage Young Audience
Gold: The Hindu – Young World Club
Silver: NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India
Bronze: Mathrubhumi – Silver Bullet Learning Solutions

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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