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.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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