WAN-IFRA condemns the murder of journalists in Ecuador

WAN-IFRA condemns the murder of journalists in Ecuador

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno confirmed today the murder of three El Comercio staff, kidnapped on 26 March on the border between Ecuador and Colombia by dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), said to belong to the breakaway ‘Oliver Sinisterra’ front. The news came a day after the president issued a 12-hour ultimatum to receive proof of life for the three captives, 17 days after the kidnapping took place.

“The irreparable loss is extremely painful. They gave everything doing their jobs. Today we have to demand on their behalf that governments grant us all the necessary guarantees to practice journalism,” said César Pérez Barriga, deputy director of newspaper El Universo and a member of the board of WAN-IFRA. “A country misinformed due to narco-terrorism mortgages its future as a society.”

Speaking after his early return from Peru, president Moreno announced that the government would be seeking the capture of Walter Arisala Vernaza, known as ‘El Guacho’, the leader of the criminal organization widely believed to be responsible for the abduction and murder of the three media professionals. He called for national unity and said that action taken by the government to resolve the case would be made public.

“It is the responsibility of the state to guarantee the exercise of freedom of expression in its territory,” said Vincent Peyrègne chief executive officer of WAN IFRA. “In this tragic case, everything seems to indicate that the governments of both Ecuador and Colombia have failed in this responsibility.”

The tragedy will deeply effect the media profession in Ecuador, where the murder of journalists has been, until now, extremely rare. WAN-IFRA expressed its condolences to the relatives of the three professionals who lost their lives in the exercise of their jobs, and offered its solidarity to the journalism community in Ecuador.


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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