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Regional papers team up to provide in-depth news on single platform

Insightful news on Asean is now within easy reach as four national papers, including The Nation, join hands to provide full reports daily from their countries on a single platform.

Readers will get in-depth news, written from a local perspective, from The Nation, The Star (Malaysia), The Jakarta Post (Indonesia) and Philippine Daily Inquirer with one ePaper subscription.

The CIMB-Asean ePaper offer will start publishing tomorrow. Subscribers to The Nation e-Paper can enjoy the three additional regional publications by logging onto thenation.newspaperdirect.com via a PC, tablet or mobile device. Annual subscriptions are just US$115, with the first seven issues free.



"It's a dream come true," Krit Kraichitti, the Thai ambassador to Malaysia, said yesterday. As the Thai ambassador to India he had tried in vain to forge a similar agreement between Indian and Thai media.

Nazir Razak, CEO of Asean-focused bank CIMB Group, has been instrumental in supporting this pan-Asean media initiative. He said he is looking forward to the day when he can say, "I am from Malaysia…and Asean".

CIMB has introduced several banking services as it expands throughout the region. In Thailand it's represented by CIMB Thai, one of the top 10 local banks. Nazir also co-founded the Asean Business Club comprising CEOs from Asean companies.

"It's not a coincidence that all four participating media are members of Asia News Network, which now comprises 22 members in 19 Asian countries," said Pana Janviroj, ANN executive director.

"We are the largest and most active newspaper alliance and this initiative is among many that we will be rolling out."

ANN's board of editors will meet next week in Singapore with Singapore Press Holdings as the host. Collaborations especially via the digital platform are at the top of the agenda, said Pana, who is also president of The Nation.

Wong Chun Wai, CEO of Star Group, said the state-of-the-art pan-Asean e-Paper digital initiative is an "unprecedented" step in the dynamic newspaper media industry.

The Star has spearheaded this e-Paper initiative, working closely with digital teams from The Nation, Jakarta Post and Inquirer as well as CIMB for the past several months. The platform for content and cross advertising is provided by Canada-based Newspaper Direct, allowing readers to seamlessly and smoothly download and read the news.

"Beyond editorial collaborations, members can capitalise on expertise and media positions to generate greater revenue for all. This can be via cross-media sales among others, while at the same time leveraging on regional brand opportunities," Wong said.

Asia News Network counts members in all 10 Asean countries and nine other Asian countries.

"We plan to continue to build on the ePaper members in Asean and the rest of Asia," Pana said.

The CIMB-Asean e-Paper's launching in Kuala Lumpur last Friday was witnessed by Indonesian Ambassador Herman Prayitno, Thai Ambassador Krit Kraichitti and deputy Philippine Embassy chief Medardo Macaraig.

Representing the three newspapers were Riyadi Suparno, executive director of The Jakarta Post; Kornelius Purba, its senior managing editor; Pana of The Nation; and JV Rufino, director of mobile for the Inquirer.


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