Facebook partners with INMA to bring local media comapnies into Readers First Initiative

Deadline for applying is 11 June

INMA Readers First Initiative

The Facebook Journalism Project is partnering with the International News Media Association (INMA) on a program that will give U.S. local news publishers free membership in one of the world’s leading news industry organizations. The program will provide publishers access to INMA’s Readers First Initiative as well as connections with global experts to discuss ideas and business solutions.

INMA’s first-class reader revenue research, webinars, and the global community will give publishers the insight and support they need to advance a sustainable business model and keep serving the communities that need them most.

The partnership will connect 20 U.S. media companies with INMA’s global membership and innovation network for up to two years of unlimited access to the full benefits of INMA corporate members. The Facebook Journalism Project will provide a full year of INMA corporate membership free followed by a second discounted year.

Qualifying news media companies may apply for the Readers First Experience by clicking here. The deadline for applications is Thursday, 11 June 2020.

“Citizens around the United States are turning to their local news organizations to make sense of the staggering challenges all around them while, at the same time, news organizations are turning to reader revenue strategies to make the journalism their communities need possible,” said David Grant, program manager for the Facebook Journalism Project’s Accelerator program. “INMA’s first-class reader revenue research, Webinars and the global community will give publishers the insight and support they need to advance a sustainable business model and keep serving the communities that need them most.”

The two-year-old Readers First Initiative aims to surface global best practices in the art and science behind digital subscriptions for news media companies and create a road map toward the next generation of consumer monetization. Specifically, INMA will debut several ‘masterclasses’ as an opportunity for its members to accelerate their skills in digital reader revenue. The initiative is headed by Greg Piechota, researcher-in-residence at INMA, and a frequent speaker in Facebook’s Local News Accelerator program.

This initiative marks five years of partnership between the Facebook Journalism Project and INMA and signals an evolving approach to third-party industry partnerships. “This is precisely the sort of collaboration we hope to do more of,” said Benjamin Wagner, global programs lead. “INMA’s Readers First Initiative provides immediate relief and resources to drive the capacity, community, and collaboration news leaders need right now.”

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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