The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms

INMA report looks at work-from-home impact on newsrooms

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The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms by May Meehan
The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms by May Meehan

Dallas 30 July 2020 – The Covid-19 pandemic started a work-from-home phenomenon that will likely outlast the coronavirus. As news media companies are thinking outside most boxes they have ever worked within; the news industry needs to take a strategic look at when, where, and how WFH works, according to a report released today by the International News Media Association (INMA).

The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms by Harvard Nieman Fellow Mary Meehan delves into how WFH is going and what workers need to do it effectively as some media companies prepare to remain remote at least until the end of 2020. Success is more than providing a laptop computer and a Zoom subscription.

The report covers –

The shift to working remotely – The pandemic caused a swift and abrupt move to WFH. Yet US executives surveyed expect 30% of their employees to work remotely at least one day a week after the pandemic, triple the previous rate.

WFH policies and support – From Zoom etiquette to US federal occupational regulations, from tech support to emotional support, news leaders need a new set of skills to manage remote workers.

Balancing work-life while working from home – This quote from the report sums it up — especially for women, “You can say, ‘I’m going to get this project done,’ and someone is coming in sideways and saying ‘I want some cereal.” Planning and training help.

The reality of the tech gap – Households and regions without proper Wi-Fi and differences in equipment, need to be addressed.

Management can help – In addition to guiding with all of the above, managing people you aren’t physically with offers new challenges. “Author Mary Meehan has put her finger on the pulse of some likely serious ramifications of WFH that are being discussed across industries, but never brought home to media companies,” INMA executive director and CEO Earl Wilkinson said. “If you are serious about people and talent management during this Covid moment, spend some time with this smart report. Challenge your HR team whether your WFH plan measures up.”

The 47-page report includes case studies from US media companies McClatchy, Cox Media Group, WFPL, and Skift’s B2B publication, which can be extrapolated for non-newsroom departments in other parts of the world.

The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms is available for free to INMA members and available to non-members for US$ 795, which includes one year of association membership, all strategic reports, Webinars, and access to all INMA content and peer connection tools. The report may be downloaded or purchased at www.inma.org/reports.

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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