Asian news media enterprises embark on a five-month transformation program

WAN-IFRA Newsroom & Business Transformation 2020 program

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Grzegorz Piechota WAN-IFRA Media researcher and consultant image

Amid a Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled global economies and is threatening the future of the media industry, ten news media companies from six Asian cities are embarking on WAN-IFRA’s inaugural Newsroom and Business Transformation 2020 program. This first-of-its-kind program for Asian news organizations brings together one senior editorial and one senior commercial executive from each publisher for five months of training and coaching to equip them with the insights, know-how, and tools to execute a transformation strategy in their organizations. The curriculum covers journalism, operations, design thinking, organizational culture, and audience engagement.

The ten news media enterprises participating in the WAN-IFRA’s Newsroom and Business Transformation 2020 program include:

Bangkok Post

Bisnis Indonesia

Kompas Media Nusantara

Philippine Daily Inquirer

Sin Chew Media Corporation

Singapore Press Holdings

The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd

The Jakarta Post

The Manila BulletinUnited Daily News

“Our goal is to help Asian media companies become agile and responsive to the changing consumer needs in the digital age. With the close guidance and mentorship from experts, the program will accelerate the transformation process and equip the media companies with the skills needed to navigate the increasingly complex media landscape,” says Thomas Jacob, chief operating officer of WAN-IFRA.

Participants, whose job titles include chief operating officer, vice president of Convergence, general manager of Marketing, editor-in-chief, executive editor and deputy editor-in-chief, will now meet online every fortnight from June to October 2020 for lectures by the program leads, talks by guest speakers, group sharing and brainstorming sessions.

This WAN-IFRA program, which is made possible by the Facebook Journalism Project, was originally designed to begin in March 2020 and take place in four cities over six months. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, WAN-IFRA has worked with the coaches to revise the program with the additional urgent needs of the news industry in mind: how to lead during the crisis, accelerate digital transformation, diversify revenue sources and adopt agile work methods.

“We recognize that news organizations are under pressure to transform and build thriving digital publishing businesses and this is even more complex with the additional challenges during Covid-19. We hope that through our partnership with WAN-IFRA, the Newsroom and Business Transformation Asia 2020 program will assist newsroom leaders with business transformation while continuing to produce important, meaningful journalism that serves and informs our region,” says Anjali Kapoor, director of News Partnerships, Facebook Asia Pacific.

Well-known media consultant and researcher Grzegorz Piechota and 28-year news veteran and former managing editor of The Times of London, George Brock, helm the program, while global digital creative business school Hyper Island will teach the Design Thinking modules.