Web3 Foundation to support Wan-Ifra’s collaborative media pilot project

To provide expertise and funding

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Web3 Foundation will support the Web3 media pilot project. Photo: Wan-Ifra
Web3 Foundation will support the Web3 media pilot project. Photo: Wan-Ifra

Wan-Ifra has announced that the Web3 Foundation will support the Web3 media pilot project produced in partnership with David Tomchak and provide expertise and funding during the research phase. 

A collaborative project bringing together local and international news publishers and technologists, the pilot announced in July will assess how Web3 can be used to help build ongoing trust and develop new sources of revenue for news publishers and content producers.

The project, led by David Tomchak, a visiting policy fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, will be implemented between October and December 2022 and will bring together local and international news publishers and technologists to research practical applications of decentralized technologies for the publishing industry. 

The primary outcome of the research part of the pilot is to provide learning and a space to share knowledge between media and Web3 industries. The resulting blueprint will include a technical roadmap for product development and will be available for public consultation.

Ursula O’Kuinghttons, director of communications and partnerships at Web3 Foundation, said, ”We feel strongly that Web3 can play a leading role in modernizing how digital news will be created, provided, distributed, and monetized in the future. The proliferation of centralized social media channels has made it hard for people to identify trusted news sources, and this project can play a leading role in addressing those concerns.”

Thanks to the support from the Web3 Foundation, Wan-Ifra will provide funds to its members interested in participating in the project. The bursaries, ranging between Euro 1,500 and Euro 4,000, will compensate members for the time they will commit to the project.

Wan-Ifra members interested in participating in the project are invited to fill in the application form before 11 September 2022, 0329 hrs IST.

The project management team will select a maximum of three media organizations, members of Wan-Ifra, to start the pilot at the beginning of October.

“It is crucial to understand as soon as possible the implications of Web3 for publishers in the future. The only way to be relevant in our research and conclusions is to involve our members as early as possible in the process. We are proud and grateful to the Web3 Foundation for supporting us in doing so,”commented Stephen Fozard, project director, Global Alliance for Media Innovation at Wan-Ifra (GAMI).

Amon other important trends in the industry, Web3 will be one of the many topics on the World News Media Congress program to be held in Zaragoza from 28-30 September 2022.

Wan-Ifra, the World Association of News Publishers, is the global organization of the world’s press. Web3 Foundation funds research and development teams building the technology stack of the decentralized web. It was established in Zug, Switzerland, by Ethereum co-founder and former chief technology officer Gavin Wood. 

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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