Publish Asia 2017 conference in
Kuala Lumpur on strengthening print in digital era

Since its inception in the year 2000, Publish Asia has been the undisputed annual meeting place for the Asian newspaper and news publishing industry. In the coming Publish Asia 2017, set to be organised from April 18-20 at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, more than 300 media executives from over 30 countries will gather for exciting master classes, conference sessions and networking events.

Publish Asia’s conference addresses the management and business issues facing newspaper publishers and examines emerging new business models and revenue streams. It focuses on repositioning and optimising today’s news publishing business with an emphasis on print, which represents the core of the news media industry.

The annual conference also offers a dedicated sessions focusing on the challenges facing editors, newsroom managers and journalists. This includes new initiatives, trends and solutions but also some of the heavyweight issues of concern to editors, including challenges to press freedom, the safety of journalists and sustainability.

A series of programmes in the three-day Publish Asia 2017 conference in Kuala Lumpur will cover inspiring presentations, practical workshops and innovative sessions. At the onset on the first day, Francesca Panetta, executive editor-VR, The Guardian, will talk about VR technology and others in the session called ‘Exploring New Content Formats with The Guardian’. In the session, the master class speaker will cover the topics, ranging from ‘mobile journalism/impact of mobile, translating journalism into VR/360º videos, up to VR/360º videos: from idea to delivery—logistics, building teams and storyboard. Other than this, Francesca will also take on other new content formats/innovation in storytelling and interactive, such as voice recognition.

Strengthening print in digital era

Keynote speaker Juan Senor, partner, Innovation Media Consulting Group (UK), in the Session 1, will pick up the main theme of conference—strengthening print in digital era. “The paper edition will not die—ignore it at your own peril and do not reinvent it at your own peril,” claims the latest Innovation in News Media World Report! This session will show how news publishers worldwide are reimagining the traditional means through which connecting news with consumers. It will feature example of new mediums, alternative revenue streams, newsroom transformation case studies and insights on the future of print.

In the Session 2, another keynote speaker, Shawn deWeese, vice president, Mather Economics (USA), will talk about the way to win with an audience-centric business model. Newspapers in 2015 generated an estimated US$168 billion, of which 89 billion (53%) came from print and digital circulation. Increasingly, newspaper publishing is shifting from an ad-centric to an audience-centric business model. This transformation entails drastic changes in the way we are producing news content and in our strategies for monetising it. Referring to this context, Shawn will discuss ‘Why is it time to charge for your online content now, and how to do it? What are the implications for your editorial strategy?’

In the day’s proceeding, in the Session 3, the topic of discussion will be ‘New print products and production strategies’ to be hosted by Matthias Tietz, CEO, Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei (Germany). If print circulation, driven by a strong growth notably in India and China, has increased globally by 21.5 percent in the last five years, it is slowly but steadily declining on most markets. This evolution calls for an in-depth transformation of the industrial infrastructure and business rationale around newspaper production.

This session will look into creative ways of strengthening print operations from both operational and commercial perspectives. What printing investments should urgently be made? What are the current opportunities for launching successful new print products? What promises do recent developments in digital printing and augmented reality hold?

Session 4 will bring the topic ‘Next Level Journalism’ to be conducted by Francesca Panetta, executive editor VR, The Guardian. Original, authoritative journalism that stands out is the mark of a quality news brand. However, in the age where newsroom resources are under pressure, copy’s shelf life is only minutes, and content is everywhere; how do editors steer their newsrooms to meet the needs of the times? What are the new formats and workflows developed by leading publishers for enhancing their storytelling? This session will answer these key kuestions.

Rebuilding trust in news

Continuing the sessions ended on the previous day, Session 5 will be on ‘Rebuilding Trust in News’ to be hosted by speaker Jeff Jarvis, professor and director, Tow-Knight Centre for Entrepreneurial Journalism, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism (USA). Even though newspapers enjoy unmatched credibility in the media world, new audiences trust even more user generated content and their peer’s reviews and opinions (50 percent consider social networks trustworthy, v/s 44 percent for newspapers).

Rebuilding and strengthening trust in news is major challenge for the future of the kind of journalism practiced by legacy media organisations. This implies that we must, on the one hand, taking into account the huge pressure for speed imposed by social media platforms, constantly improve editorial practices in order to retain the same levels of accuracy and credibility in the information that forged brands. This session will be, on the other hand, on educating our readers, promote and defend our brands.

In the Session 6, speaker Matthijs van de Peppel, manager data intelligence & CRM, NRC Media, The Netherlands, will discourse on the topic ‘Making Sense with Data’. Big data has been a big topic for news publishers for already several years. Still, most media organisations are still unclear about the kind of resources and investment they should make in order to effectively benefit from this technology in a way that is adapted to their operations size and business culture.

The speaker will take a string of uestions on the matter—‘How can multimedia groups connect with readers in new and deeper ways and increase the impact and ROI of their news content? What are the latest trends in using social media and Big Data for multiplying touch points across news publishers’ content portfolios and increasing revenue.

‘Digging in Old and New Revenue Streams’ will be the topic of discussion in the Session 7 to be conducted by Anandan Thangasamy, manager - technical services, Star Media Group (Malaysia). Identifying and developing alternative revenue streams remains at the top of most publishers’ agendas in 2017. From radio, events, magazines and e-commerce portals to mergers and acquisitions or B2B activities, these side businesses represent on mature marketsan estimated 7 to 20 percent of news publishers’ total revenues.

This session will also take a look at the advertising, both on the print and digital sides. It will showcase innovative products for making print advertising uniquely attractive and explore the latest and most promising trends in digital advertising.

Closing Session 8 titled ‘Managing the Dual Transformation’ with speaker Scott Armstrong, chief executive editor, Times of Oman (Oman) will focus on the traditional news media format and newly transformed digital platform. According to Harvard Business School professor Clark Gilbert, news publishers must operate two major business transformations: repositioning and optimising their traditional print operations and developing a brand new business on digital platforms.

Managing these two transformations hand in hand and transform a whole business culture is a thrilling but challenging endeavour. This session will present the transformational journeys of two inspiring news publishers.

Foyer info-table expo

In addition to the conference sessions, delegates at Publish Asia 2017 will get the opportunity to attend a foyer info-table expo showing latest technologies, machineries by a host of the industry’s top technology and service providers.

16th Publish Asia Awards

As part of Publish Asia 2017, WAN-IFRA will conduct the 16th Asian Media Awards ceremonies, promoting the highest publishing standards in the fields of newspaper and magazine design, infographics, printing, editorial content, marketing, community service and photojournalism. Hundreds of newspapers and magazines in Asia Pacific, South Asia and Middle-East have taken part in the competition over the last fifteen years, establishing the Asian Media Awards as the most prestigious recognition of excellence for the news publishing industry in the region.

The categories in the awards completion this will include:

Best in Print: The Asian Best in Print Awards will be presented to newspapers deserving recognition for their excellence in standardised printing.

Best in Design: This award will be presented to entries whose overall design, originality and content have achieved levels of excellence deserving of recognition.

Best in Editorial Content: This award recognises articles published in a newspaper that demonstrates high standards of reporting.

Best in Infographics: This award aims to recognise excellence in design, usefulness and clarity of information conveyed in both breaking and non-breaking news.

Best in Photojournalism: This award is open to newspaper and wire service photographers as well as to freelancers working for these media, supplying work to either news, sports or feature agencies or providing content for websites affiliated with newspaper.

Best Newspaper Marketing: This award will recognise successful campaigns for marketing the news publishing company’s brand or image to readers in order to increase circulation and subscriptions to the print product and the overall media brand awareness.

Best in Community Service: This award measures how companies goes beyond their traditional roles of educating and entertaining readers to become an active player in leading and implementing social service campaigns for the benefit of the community it serves.

All prize winners will be granted the exclusive usage of a special icon illustrative of their achievement and representing – for each category – the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. Winners will be entitled to display this distinctive WAN-IFRA recognition of excellence in their publication as well as in all their corporate communications or marketing materials. Winners will be officially announced at the Publish Asia 2017 in Kuala Lumpur.


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