Virtual World Congress by INMA in May 2020

Focus on media coverage in coronavirus age

INMA launches virtual world congress

The International News Media Association (INMA) will conduct a virtual world congress in May under the theme “Re-Thinking News Media In the Age of Coronavirus.” The virtual world congress will be conducted across nine modules, include 18 hours of programming, and feature 35+ speakers. In addition to the livestream event, Congress attendees will receive all video recordings of the sessions and all of the presentations.

The virtual conference – which starts on 5 May with the first module and concludes on 28 May with the ninth module – is being billed as “what news publishers need to know now to survive the COVID-19 ripple.” A website with complete virtual world congress information has been created and may be found at

The online conference will focus on nine subjects:

Where news media goes next after COVID-19,

Subscription experiences amid the surge: opportunities in chaos,

Advertising in crisis: navigation and uplift,

Smart data in the shadow of the cookiepocalypse,

Building brand and community: How will you be remembered post-crisis?

The content to commerce revolution,

Brainsnacks: quick ideas you can apply immediately,

Business model innovation and creating new value,

News media outlook 2021: what to expect next.

“The ripple effect of COVID-19 has created economic strains on the business model of news media companies,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director, and chief executive officer of INMA. “As we re-create the spirit of INMA’s World Congress in a premium virtual setting, INMA focuses on what publishers need to know in this age of coronavirus.”

Virtual congress speakers were originally scheduled to speak at the association’s World Congress of News Media in Paris in late April, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics have morphed into a deeper focus on the emerging “new normal” confronting media companies.

“So much has changed in the past six weeks, and we believe the timely subjects, the world-class speakers, and the timing of this virtual world congress will give media executives hope and inspiration to navigate this new environment,” Wilkinson said. “Journalism-based organizations still have a mission. We still need to operate companies that support that mission. And we need to empower those charged with that mission – now more than ever – with context and ideas and peer connections. That’s what we’re aiming to achieve with the Virtual World Congress.”

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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