TMR Dispatches travels to South India – 7 August 2020

Reclaiming center space in the news – Friday 7 August 2020 5pm

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Abhinandan Sekhri, chief executive officer and co-founder of News Laundry and Christopher Lydon, of Radio Open Source at the podcast Master Class at Media Rumble
Abhinandan Sekhri, chief executive officer and co-founder of News Laundry and Christopher Lydon, of Radio Open Source at the podcast Master Class at an earlier Media Rumble at the Habitat Center in Delhi

The Media Rumble (TMR), the annual news and media forum, hosted by Newslaundry and Teamwork Arts, comes with its fourth session of TMR Dispatches on South India under the theme – ‘Reclaiming center space in the news – A robust market and innovation hub. Scheduled for 5 pm on 7 August 2020, TMR Dispatches is an online series featuring ‘NEWS’ that spans the North, East, West, and South of India. It brings together leading news professionals from these regions to discuss broader news media trends.

Sandhya Ravishankar, an award-winning journalist, and editor of The Lede, Abdussalam Puthige, editor-in-chief of the Vartha Bharathi Kannada Daily and varthabharati.in, MG Radhakrishnan, editor-in-chief at Asianet News TV, winner of many prestigious awards in journalism, Padma Priya, co-founder and editor of Suno India, a multilingual-multigenerational podcast platform for issues that matter, Meghnad, former LAMP fellow and currently an associate editor at Newslaundry, will take part in the fourth TMR Dispatches session, this Friday.

In a news landscape dominated by Delhi, media houses from the southern states have carved an effective space for themselves – it is the regional media that drives journalism in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. How can stories in regional languages translate for audiences in states with vastly different cultural and political backgrounds? 

It’s a big place

How do South Indian newsrooms use social media and technology to innovate the way they report on stories? What are the business models that have been adopted – what has worked and what has not? Importantly, how can Delhi newsrooms be taught not to view South India as one entity? This session will seek to find answers to these critical questions.

TMR43 is TMR@ONLINE in September

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 the press covered it, will also take place. In addition, topics such as the 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.

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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