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I&B minister urges magazine publishers to adopt technology and cost-cutting measures

NEW DELHI: Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister Manish Tewari has urged magazine publishers to focus on profitable growth by implementing cost control initiatives and adopting technology across key business performance areas such as planning, budgeting, customer relationship management and strategic outsourcing.

Manish TewariWhile leading players had taken necessary steps, it was necessary that the industry review the process in its entirety, he said while delivering the inaugural address at the 8th Indian Magazine Congress.

The minister also stated that the magazine industry’s future performance would be a critical factor in determining the macroeconomic environment necessary for print media stakeholders.

This, he said, would be possible if the industry was able to achieve greater operational efficiencies and connect with readers through delivery of high quality content.

Tewari called upon the magazine industry to strengthen their presence in the digital medium by playing the role of an objective, analytical and authentic source of information.

He also stated that innovation needed to be used as a sustained tool for bringing change in the lives of the readers rather than being a tool for ‘short-cut’ solutions.

Elaborating further, Tewari said that in recent times many iconic publications had turned digital and the need of the hour was to empower the World Wide Web through agreed rules of engagement.

It was necessary for the digital world to go through standard editorial checks so as to ensure rich and authentic content in the new media space, he said. The challenge before the magazine industry was to withstand the flow of instant information emerging from different media streams, he added.

Regarding the trends for the print media industry, the minister stated that the market for regional and vernacular markets continued to grow in an environment which was fruitful in view of rising literacy levels, low print media penetration in certain areas and the desire of stakeholders to use the platform.

The minister further added that the inherent advantages of print industry—extensive reach, localisation benefits and ability to create trust and achieve a higher ‘attention span’—were expected to serve as a base for growth and ensure that print continues to be one of the most important platforms for Indian advertisers.

Tewari further said that in marked contrast to the global trends, the Indian print industry was growing steadily in both advertising and circulation revenues.

Although internet broadband penetration has been increasing at an enormous pace, print industry would continue an upward trajectory due to growth in vernacular and regional markets, he contended.

The magazine industry, both vernacular and English, had shaped public discourse for over 60 years and still had the potential to grow, the minister stated.