Fourth edition of The Media Rumble to be a digital-only forum

TMR Dispatches start soon – event in September 2020

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TMR
Shahid Siddiqui, former member of Parliament and the managing director & chief editor of Nai Duniya, an Urdu weekly published from New Delhi

The Media Rumble (TMR), the annual news and media forum, hosted by Newslaundry and Teamwork Arts, will be back this year in a new avatar with TMR Dispatches and TMR@Online. At TMR, leading news professionals, tech innovators, policymakers, filmmakers, and investors from across the world discuss the future of news, tech, and policy. Slated for September 2020, TMR@Online will bring South Asia’s largest media forum to audiences at home on their personal screens and feature leading news professionals from India and across the world. A new addition this year is a fortnightly series in the lead-up to September titled TMR Dispatches. The theme of TMR Dispatches is the ‘News’.

The fourth edition of TMR, titled TMR@Online, will be a digital-only forum. Scheduled for September 2020, TMR@Online will feature conversations and discussions on some of the most pressing issues concerning news media. Among the themes that TMR focuses on this year will naturally be the overwhelming impact of COVID-19, acknowledging the role of ‘media front-line warriors’ while also analyzing the economic impact of the pandemic on the news media – layoffs, ad-revenue trajectories and the need to rethink business models. Sessions on the migration crisis, and how it was covered by the press will also be hosted. In addition, topics such as gender and caste composition of Indian media houses, press freedom, hate news, and the future of news media in an age of digital transformation will feature at TMR@Online.

The TMR Dispatches series will cover the entire media landscape in India, region-wise, and will discuss the challenges, trends, and the way forward for the news media sector. The first session of TMR Dispatches will focus on North India under the theme: Myth or Reality? Hindi and proximity to Delhi give North India an advantage in the news space.

Scheduled for 26 June 2020, the session will feature Shahid Siddiqui, a former member of Parliament and the managing director & chief editor of Nai Duniya, an Urdu weekly published from New Delhi; Arfa Khanum Sherwani, award-winning journalist and Senior Editor at The Wire; Punjabi writer and columnist Sukirat; and Himanshu Dwivedi, chief editor of Hari Bhoomi, a daily Hindi newspaper published in North and Central India. The session will be moderated by Manisha Pande, the executive editor at Newslaundry. TMR Dispatches will be scheduled fortnightly from June to September in the lead-up to TMR@Online and can be accessed on all TMR’s social media handles – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube – as well as on the official TMR website.

TMR@Online, which is scheduled between early and mid-September, will feature a host of national and international media voices. Some of the key international speakers scheduled to participate include Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, who will throw light on the changing digital media landscape across the world; Joel Simon, executive director, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) who will discuss press freedom and surveillance, attacks and arrests of journalists and Marco Mass, founder of Datenfreunde, Germany, who will speak on a technology panel. Nandini Jammi, co-founder, Sleeping Giants Movement, USA, and Richard Wilson, co-Founder, Stop Funding Hate, UK, will address the issue of brand and corporate sponsored-advertising in a session titled Hate News, brought to you by With Great Advertising Comes Great Responsibility. Another key session will feature a discussion on the Rwandan genocide and the role of media and will have Allan Thompson, associate professor, Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, who is also the editor of The Media and the Rwanda Genocide.

Speaking about The Media Rumble 2020, Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, said, “In a technology-enabled world where consumers are bombarded with multiple messages and information, it is imperative to encourage informed judgment and the ability to sift trusted information from propaganda, sensationalism, and fake news. The role of news media has never been more critical and with TMR Dispatches and TMR@Online, The Media Rumble leads this charge by creating new opportunities for knowledge-sharing, discussing best practices, and enabling media professionals as well as consumers to connect on issues of significance. As we navigate through the new normal, Teamwork Arts bring its expertise in curating unique platforms for today’s digital audiences.”

Abhinandan Sekhri, chief executive officer and co-founder, Newslaundry said, “While this year TMR@Online is a digital only-festival, the digital experience is not just for 2020, it’s here to stay. The Covid-19 crises have forced the world to go online, and in so doing has opened up opportunities – such as inviting a diverse and inclusive range of panelists for TMR@Online 2020 from across the globe. TMR Dispatches too will feature important conversations on a digital stage that will lead up to TMR@Online. It’s an all-new format and calendar.”

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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