Archive for June, 2009

WAN and Ifra merge to form global group

June 26, 2009

THE World Association of Newspapers and IFRA – the leading international associations for print and digital news publishing – have merged into a new organisation.

The new body is called the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

The combined new organisation will represent more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3000 companies in more than 120 countries. PANPA is a member of WAN.

WAN-IFRA is dedicated to be the “indispensable partner of newspapers and the entire news publishing industry worldwide, particularly our members, in the defence and promotion of press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity, and the development of prosperous businesses and technology”.

The mission statement of the organisation can be found at here.

The merger, which becomes effective on July 1, has been approved by the membership of the two organisations. The new organisation will maintain the two current headquarters in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany.

The two organisations have been discussing a merger, on and off, for more than five years.

Gavin O¹Reilly, the President of WAN and Group CEO of Dublin-based Independent News and Media, will serve as President of the new organisation through 2010.

“IFRA and WAN are strong organisations providing key services,” he said. “We believe that combining their strengths will allow us to be even more resourceful and effective in responding to the growing needs of our members and industry partners in the fast-moving and evolving media matrix. This is a necessary merger which, indeed, has been on the cards for some time.”

Horst Pirker, President of IFRA and CEO of Styria Medien AG in Austria, will serve as First Vice President, and become President in 2011.

“We need to concentrate our resources to support our members in the best possible way,” he said.

The new organisation will appoint a Chief Executive Officer shortly. In the meantime, the current CEOs of WAN and IFRA, Timothy Balding and Reiner Mittelbach, will jointly manage the merged association.

WAN, founded in 1948, groups 78 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives and companies in more than 120 countries, 13 news agencies and nine regional press organisations. It is based in Paris, France.

IFRA, founded in 1961, groups more than 3,000 publishing companies and suppliers to the publishing industry from more than 70 countries. It is based in Darmstadt, Germany, with regional offices in the United States, Asia and Europe.

The two organisations have a long common history: WAN was instrumental in the creation of IFRA, which emerged in 1961 under the name of INCA (International Newspaper Colour Association), an organisation to aid newspapers in their widening use of colour printing in newspaper production.

In 1971, IFRA was established as a separate entity to treat the rapidly developing technical side of the industry. The acronym stands for INCA-FIEJ Research Association ­ FIEJ, the French acronym for the International Federation of Newspaper Publishers, is the organisation now known as WAN.

News Ltd masthead cuts frequency

June 25, 2009

THE Herbert River Express has dropped its Tuesday edition, moving to a bi-weekly from a tri-weekly newspaper.

The News Ltd title from far north Queensland has also raised its cover price from 90c to A$1, an article told readers.

Manager Karina Fortini acknowledged that readers would be disappointed with the reduced frequency, but said her team is “confident that we can continue to serve our community just as well with two editions per week”.

Top editors meet for industry brainstorm

June 23, 2009

AUSTRALIA and New Zealand’s top editors have congregrated in Sydney this morning for the inaugural PANPA Editors’ Forum, hosted by KPMG.

Eleven newsroom leaders representing major News Ltd, Fairfax Media and APN News and Media mastheads and websites and the region’s biggest news agency have come together to discuss the future of newspapers, and hear from top KPMG minds about leadership in the current economic climate.

Mark Scott of the ABC also updated the editors about his company’s change journey and lessons for newspapers.

PANPA CEO Mark Hollands addresses the region's leading editors

PANPA CEO Mark Hollands addresses the region's leading editors

KPMG’s Rob Hogarth spoke about the GFC’s effects on climate change and sustainability, senior partner James Hunter gave editors a framework for cost analysis in newspapers, and James Allt-Graham presented on the topic: “Releasing people with dignity”.

Editors present:

Liz Deegan, Sunday Mail, Brisbane
Simon Dulhunty, Sun-Herald, Sydney
Louise Evans, The Australian
Peter Fray, Sydney Morning Herald
Phil Gardner, Herald & Weekly Times, Melbourne
Tony Gillies, Australian Associated Press
David Higgins, news.com.au
Garry Linnell, Daily Telegraph, Sydney
Hugh Martin, APN Online
Rod Quinn, Canberra Times
Nick Wrench, Dominion Post, Wellington

Deputy editor Coasts out of Bulletin

June 22, 2009

JOHN Affleck, deputy editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin, has left the paper he joined in 1981 and edited in the 1990s, his paper reported.

Ken Robinson, previously night editor, assumes the role.

Mr Affleck’s departure comes at the same time as that of editor-in-chief Bob Gordon, whose legendary tale and penchant for bringing through talented young editors is explored in the upcoming July edition of the PANPA Bulletin industry newspaper.

The PANPA Bulletin will hit desks this week.

PANPA to hold Future Forum

June 19, 2009

THE chief executive of World Association of Newspapers, Timothy Balding, will be a keynote speaker at a special one-day event to chart the future of newspapers to be held by PANPA in Sydney on September 10.

Mr Balding will highlight global trends for newspapers and describe how some publishers are successfully handling the global financial crisis and the structural challenges of digital media.

He will be joined by a line-up of local and international speakers for “Newspapers: The Future Forum – Leadership & Transformation”, which will present ideas and case studies on how our industry will stay relevant to society and continue to deliver profits.

The head of The Newspaper Works, Tony Hale, will provide local case studies on how newspapers continue to perform strongly against competitive media, providing data and qualitative assessments that will strengthen the market position of individual newspapers and the industry as a whole.

The one-day event is a temporary replacement to the annual PANPA two-day conference, and entry will be free of charge to employees of PANPA members. However, preregistration will be required.

“We aim to give delegates some powerful takeaways to strengthen their business,” said PANPA chief executive Mark Hollands.

“The aim is to look forward and chart our future – not continually ponder on reasons for our current challenges.

“We are not the only industry facing significant change. Some pundit commentary would make anyone think we are alone in our challenges. Every industry must continually evaluate and adapt. Newspapers are no different.”

Mr Hollands said key themes would be leadership and transformation. The focus would not fall only on print but include digital innovation.

“Leadership must come from across the organisation,” he said. “This is not a reference to senior management. For newspapers to be successful into the future, new ideas and initiatives need to be heard from every part of an organisation.

“Senior managers need to create a culture in which these ideas can be created and taken forward.

“Transformation is not about moving from print to digital; it is about changing entrenched attitudes and behaviours to increase the empowerment of staff to adapt and drive meaningful change. Modern-day management is not about the CEO telling everyone what to do – it is about creating and sustaining flexibility and adaptability to meet market needs.”

The Future Forum will be held at Sydney’s Masonic Centre on September 10. It is being sponsored by the premium industry newsprint supplier, Norske Skog. The Forum will be followed by the Newspaper of the Year dinner.

“Many of the region’s leading newspapers are already in the middle of preparation for their entry. We think this is going to be the most competitive Newspaper of the Year ever,” Mr Hollands said. “There is massive value in winning an award in terms of demonstrating professional excellence to the market.

“In such competitive and economically challenged times, it is more important than ever to be able to independently demonstrate the quality of your newspaper.”

Asia-file joins Adelaide team

June 17, 2009

ADVERTISER Newspapers has announced the appointment of Jim Plouffe to the position of Editor for its growing magazine division.

Mr Plouffe will oversee a diverse suite of publications that includes the Adelaide* magazine – SA’s leading glossy lifestyle magazine – plus custom publication, such as BikeSA and GardenSA.

He is an award-winning magazine editor with more than 15 years experience. He began at the Jakarta Post and has held various senior editorial roles in Asia.

Most recently he was the Editor-in-Chief of Readers Digest Asia and Discovery Magazine.

Jim’s achievements in this role include building a $1.5m custom publishing division, developing digital content and a strong online presence for the Digest, starting up Discovery magazine, and increasing newsstand sales by 13% year-on-year by implementing better design, effective marketing and promotional materials.

Jim has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

He commences his role on July 13.

Current Editor Anna Flanders will take up the position of Associate Editor on a part-time basis.

Singapore paper gets Strait onto Nokia’s new toy

June 16, 2009

SINGAPOREANS buying Nokia’s new N97 smart phone will be able to read the Straits Times on the go, Singapore Press Holdings announced.

The N97 comes with a news widget pre-loaded, meaning StraitsTimes.com will be the automatic source of choice for users of the new touchscreen Nokia.

“Building a vibrant ecosystem with content providers and third-party developers is a key focus area for Nokia to bring exciting applications and content to consumers,” said Nokia’s Head of APAC Developer Relations and Marketing, Kenny Mathers.

“Nokia is excited to partner with The Straits Times, Singapore’s most widely-read English daily, to deliver the latest news content into the hands of Nokia users.”

The Straits Times website has been available for free on Apple’s iPhone since January 2009, helping it attract than 23 million page views every month.

Fairfax to showcase its quality journalism

June 15, 2009

FAIRFAX Media has announced the launch of a new online site to showcase the company’s political and national affairs journalism.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Brian McCarthy said nationaltimes.com.au will be unveiled in August and represented a significant expansion of journalism by the company.

The launch marks the revival of the National Times brand, which Fairfax published as a weekly masthead from 1971 to 1986.

“The National Times brand was synonymous with intelligent and thought-provoking journalism,” Mr McCarthy said.

“It informed and encouraged debate on the important issues of the day and that will be the commitment of our new online site.

“The best of our opinion writing, commentary and analysis will be aggregated on the site and I believe it will be a beacon for all those people with an interest in politics, policy and current affairs.”

Fairfax Digital Chief Executive Officer Jack Matthews said the nationaltimes.com.au will include a number of interactive features to enable readers to engage in debate.

“We are committed to developing a dynamic and intelligent site that gives people a platform to participate in and enrich the national discussion,” Mr Matthews said.

“It further underlines what Fairfax’s online news sites are all about – rich and engaging content aimed at people who want to be thoroughly informed.”

The nationaltimes.com.au will be published on Fairfax’s leading news sites smh.com.au, theage.com.au, brisbanetimes.com.au and watoday.com.au.