Wan-Ifra & World Editors Forum Asia Chapter launch Young Media Leaders Fellowship

YMLF fellows to gather online over the next six months

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Wan-Ifra & World Editors Forum Asia Chapter launch Young Media Leaders Fellowship
Temasek Foundation Team Photo: Temasek Foundation

The second annual round of the Young Media Leaders Fellowship (YMLF) is launched today with a new batch of twenty-eight high-potential mid-career editors and journalists from nineteen publications in eleven countries. The YMLF is an initiative of the World Editors Forum Asia Chapter and Wan-Ifra supported by the Temasek Foundation. The program offers leadership and professional development and networking opportunities through dedicated online and physical platforms.

The program seeks to nurture the next generation of media leaders committed to shaping the regional future. The aim is for YMLF fellows to contribute effectively to the pursuit of good journalism, foster dialogue and greater connectedness among one another, and build up newsrooms to meet the needs of their societies in these uncertain times.

They will gather online over the next six months to share experiences, exchange ideas, amplify the impact of news reporting, and learn to lead in an industry transformed by technology. This is especially relevant as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the news publishing industry.

“These are challenging times for the media all around the world, and our young newsroom leaders have many big issues to grapple with ahead of them. We want to help equip them with the leadership skills to face those challenges, from the need to transform our newsroom for digital-first operations to inspiring teams with a sense of purpose for public service journalism. Through this program, we also hope they will build bridges and form their own networks for collaboration across our region,” said Warren Fernandez, President of the World Editors Forum and Editor-in-Chief of The Straits Times and English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, Singapore Press Holdings, who mooted the initiative.

Wan-Ifra being thankful to Temasek Foundation for the YMLF initiative

“The news industry is counting on young, dynamic changemakers to create a strong, vibrant media ecosystem which can continue to serve society with timely, accurate news, information, and analysis. Thanks to generous support of Temasek Foundation, we are able to help groom the next generation of industry leaders at a region-wide level,” said Thomas Jacob, Chief Operating Officer of Wan-Ifra.

“The media industry recognizes the need for innovation, possibly disruptive ones, to take on the challenges brought about by the changing times, including those arising from the current pandemic. How can media products and services be enhanced and made more relevant? What are the ways to grow an audience and sustain the viability of operations? Through this program, we hope participants can share with one another from their wealth of experience so as to strengthen the role of the media in supporting and advancing our respective communities,” said Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation International.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the YMLF program will take place mostly through online platforms. Participants are attending a week-long online executive leadership program tailored for newsroom leaders currently. They will attend the virtual Digital Media Asia conference in August, plan events, activities, and stories to mark World News Day on 28 September 2021. They will gather in Singapore in January 2022 for the Fellowship finale, conditions permitting.

Fellows will also continue to deepen their engagement with one another during and beyond the program by establishing an alumni community on social media and through future speaking opportunities.

The full list of Fellows and their publications is available under this link.

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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