Editors Guild of India condemns airstrikes on Gaza media tower

Al Jazeera and Associated Press offices evacuated in bombed building

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Editors Guild of India condemns airstrikes on Gaza media tower
Screenshot of YouTube video of journalists returning to the media building in Gaza bombed by Israel on 15 May 2021

In yet another instance of precision bombing by Israeli forces of Palestinians an 11-story tower was demolished instantly by Israeli missiles on Saturday, 15 May 2021. An hour’s notice was given to the journalists to evacuate and no journalist lives were lost. Apart from the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press the building housed several other offices and about residential apartments. The building had only one elevator.

On Sunday, 16 May the Editors Guild of India issued a statement saying it ‘strongly condemns the brazen airstrikes on a building in Gaza that housed the editorial offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.’ A spokesman for AP in New York said that the bombing of a building that had particularly good sight lines across Gaza would only mean less information flow to the outside world about what is happening there.

The Editors Guild of India statement signed by president Seema Mustafa, general secretary Sanjay Kapoor, and treasurer Anant Nath reads –

“The bombing raid on Saturday, 15 May 2021, demolished the 12-story building, destroying much of the camera and editing equipment, and severely affecting the news reporting and broadcasting capabilities of the two organizations. Besides the loss of hardware and office space, the bombing destroyed what was described as ‘home’ by some of the journalists. Given the recent background of escalating conflict in this region, EGI sees this as a de facto attack on news media by the Israeli government, which can disrupt the flow of news from this highly-volatile region and which has global security implications.

The Editors Guild of india demands that the Israeli government gives a detailed justification of the decision-making behind this attack, along with evidentiary proof. The Guild also calls for the Israeli government to facilitate a UN-monitored investigation into this bombing raid. Further, the Editors Guild of india urges the Indian government to take up this issue with the Israeli government, demanding an independent inquiry and reiterating the need for ensuring safety of journalists in any conflict situation.”

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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