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World Newspaper Congress

Keep newsroom, not just content, fresh

The newspaper may be an old media, but it does not have to be "old" internally. Providing a fresh, vibrant and inclusive working environment in the newsroom is one effective way of keeping content up-to-date and relevant, said Azrul Ananda, president of Indonesian newspaper Jawa POS.

The paper has maintained its lead in the industry amidst the rapidly evolving digital culture.

"We try keep the newsroom fresh and fun. We have a music studio in the office, and regularly bring in new activities for staff to enjoy such as martial arts classes and ping-pong tournaments.

"We have new managers every year, and every manager has a say in making decisions for the company. Decisions are not made just by the directors.

"That way we have more brains thinking about the company and how to keep up with the evolving times. If we do not practice being inclusive, the group will get 'stuck'," said Ananda during the "Focus on Asian media" session at the World Newspaper Congress at the Centara Grand in Bangkok.

He said that such a working culture has been a major factor causing the boost in readership, particularly among young people, which the paper now enjoys.

"The young people are our main focus. It is important to engage with them because they are the ones who will pave the way to the future," he said.

Speaking in the same session, Sandy Prieto, chief executive of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, shared the paper’s challenges in handling dwindling newspaper readership brought about by the onslaught of digital media.

She explained the two-prong strategy, among others, used by the paper to maintain its relevance, keep up readership and embrace the future in digital media while keeping in tune with traditions.

"It is very important for a newspaper to know its audience and understand changes in society well. We do this through social media, through which we get feedback for our articles.

"At the same time we get to know the readers by working closely with other people who are part of the news chain, such as the newspaper delivery boys," she said.

The way forward for The Bangkok Post, as well as for other subsidiary media under the Post Publishing group, is to keep expanding and finding fresh opportunities, its group COO and president Supakom Vejjajiva said.

He said that in the past five years, the media group has boosted its audience through various platforms, such as a financial newspaper, free newspaper and television production.

"The digital space is growing at an unprecedented rate, creating all sorts of avenues we can bank on.

"Even if it is not a direct revenue earning opportunity, we can still use it to keep engaging with our audiences," he said.


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