Scotland to host the World News Media Congress 2019

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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is geared up to organize the 71st World News Media Congress, the 26th World Editors Forum and the 3rd Women in News Summit to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 1 to 3 June 2019.

Organized in partnership with the Scottish Newspaper Society (SNS), the events will take place at Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus. It is situated on the north bank of the River Clyde. Glasgow, Scotland’s most important location for broadcasting, media, digital and the creative industries, is home to the headquarters of BBC Scotland, STV and a range of major press titles including The Herald, The Daily Record, The Scottish Sun and Scottish Daily Mail.

“Scotland is a market with a remarkable diversity of national, regional and local media. We are privileged to be hosted in Glasgow by the SNS and their affiliate members,” said Vincent Peyregne, chief executive officer of Wan-Ifra.

“The Congress, incorporating the one-of-a-kind Women in News Summit, and the World Editors Forum, is a milestone on our annual program of professional events. It is of value to every news professional seeking to better understand and address the unprecedented forces at work at this time. The Congress is a vital forum for discussions – on the future of news, press freedom and issues facing our society and its citizens,” said Peyregne.

Scottish Newspaper Society director and former Scotsman Publications editor-in-chief John McLellan said, “We are thrilled to be able to stage the 2019 World News Media Congress. And, we are confident that delegates will find Glasgow and Scotland an appropriately stunning and stimulating host. Scotland is steeped in the finest traditions of freedom of expression but also of media innovation. It is home to one of the most competitive and vibrant news markets anywhere in the world.”

Scotland has been a crucible for the development of publishing and the concepts of freedom of expression from even before the 18th Century Age of Enlightenment. It is the home of Adam Smith, where Encyclopaedia Britannica was founded in 1768 and where three of the daily newspapers, The Herald, The Scotsman and The Courier, are over 200 years old.

Program elements

The World News Media Congress is the annual meeting of news executives, including publishers, editors and owners of newspapers from all over the world. It is hosted in a different city each year. The 2018 Congress in Portugal drew around 1,000 people from over 60 countries for three days of conferences, executive meetings, networking, and social events. A list of previous host cities for WAN-IFRA Congresses, from 1948 to the present, can be found on wan-ifra.org.

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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