WAN-IFRA gets EUR 7 million fund for its Women in News program

Promoting gender equality in news media

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Photo - WAN IFRA
Photo - WAN IFRA

A 4-year grant from Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, will enable WAN-IFRA’s Women in News program to expand to new markets, launch global research initiatives and build internal capacity to operate the program throughout the Arab region and Sub-Saharan Africa. The grant is the largest received to date by WAN-IFRA in support of its media freedom work. It marks the continuation of a nearly decade-long partnership with Sida.

Information, alongside universal suffrage, is the opinion of all in the service of the government of all. But what happens if women are under-represented in the making of news and in the news? WAN-IFRA and its funding partners believe that this gap and the disparities between men and women within the global news media industry alarmingly undermine the contribution the media can have on democratic development and human rights. Through Women in News, WAN-IFRA intends to continue to lead the conversation and push for change amongst its membership base and globally.

“We are humbled by this measure of support from Sida, and excited about the prospects for continued expansion and impact. We launched Women in News (WIN) almost ten years ago on a shoestring budget and a novel approach. As the program has evolved, we’ve never lost sight of the program’s essence, that of local ownership and community. The success of Women in News is a testament to an expansive community of advocates and champions of Women in News who contribute to the program because of their fundamental belief that gender equality is a human right, and the media has a pivotal role in making this belief a reality,” said Melanie Walker, head of Women in News and WAN-IFRA’s director for Media Development

“We are an industry that continues to trail behind others when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Our Women in News program is dedicated to correcting the current imbalance, educate and sensitize media organizations to the financial and normative imperatives of striving for gender balance and equality,” added Vincent Peyregne, chief executive officer of WAN-IFRA.

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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