The South Asia Media Summit 2013 was organized by All Pakistan Newspaper Association (APNS) in Islamabad on 20th & 21th of February 2013. Distinguished publishers, editors, advertisers, social media evangelists from India, Srilanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh attended the summit to discuss the opportunities as well future challenges faced by print media industry.
The Summit was unique of its kind as it was based on theme of Hollywood fictional character James Bond. The basic inspiration for choosing this theme came from the fact that James Bond character has been reinvented through times but the vitality and relevancy of character always remained intact.
The President APNS, Sarmad Ali in his opening speech said that Print Media needs to keep on reinventing itself while keeping its relevancy and vitality intact. Talking about purpose of SAMS, he said that we hope that SAMS would provide media people with a strategic vision which is inevitable for the growth of Print Media industry. The SAMS addressed the basic challenge of reinventing print media in the new media ecosystem marked with the growth digital media to make it part of reader’s 24/7 consumption cycle.
The role of media in creating regional peace and harmony was discussed. While acknowledging power of print media, The Prime Minister commented that People in media industry are in better position to remove the bad thoughts as they shape public opinions. He said that media could play a very effective role in developing regional peace and tranquility as they can control people minds and perceptions. The information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira also emphasized role of Media in bringing regional peace and harmony. He said that Media can soften the minds and develop public opinion because media is the real force. The minister said peace in Pakistan is vital for India and vice-versa, which can be possible through positive public opinion and exchange of media delegations between the two countries.
Former Federal information minister, Javed Jabbar described media as very influential tool with a potential to override the power of Judiciary, legislature and executive thus making it more important than the latter. The summit also addressed the means to promote bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan. Talks were held about how Indian Newspaper society and All Pakistan Newspaper society can contribute towards growth of not only print industry but also intra-regional peace and harmony. Krishna Prasad; an Indian journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Outlook expressed his concern over failure of Indian media in communicating Pakistan’s common people thoughts and aspirations to the Indian People. He said that India Media talks are all about ISI and Pakistan Army. It has never been able to tap common people of Pakistan. He says electronic media is especially is guilty of more jingoism than reality. Krishna Prasad had also put forward a proposition of starting journalists exchange program between India and Pakistan. The CEO of Times of India, Ravi Dhariwal says that success of Times of India lies in the fact that this newspaper writes for common people only; not for political or commercial purposes.
Another debated revolved around whether digital media should be viewed as competitive or complementary to print media. While considering digital media as an addition to print media Vijitha Yapa said that when Television was introduced, it was believed that it would give a blow to print media industry but on the contrary print media industry has flourished over the time. Gobi Krishnan special correspondent termed newspapers as “big daddy” of the media and said that Newspapers are dying is a myth.
Hameed Haroon, the CEO of Dawn while addressing the governance problems in Pakistan said that whole system in Pakistan is anti-learning. He further stated the right to information law and centralized media policy needs to be revised by the Government as they intend to undermine the freedom of the press and media. He says “to love it or leave” is not the prudent strategy for print media; we ought to fight off challenges in order to secure the future of Print media.
Another important development in the Summit was to discussing ways to add value in advertising through innovation which would lead towards increase in revenue of Print industry. Masood Hashmi; CEO Orient McCann Erickson while agreeing that innovation and creativity creates much more impact on readers and delight them pointed out that print media industry in Pakistan holds conservative approach as far as innovation in print advertising is concerned. Sam Balsara, an eminent name of India’s marketing and advertising industry said Pakistan can learn a lot from India’s advertising innovation strategies. As a result of this discussion, Sarmad Ali, announced that he promised to reinvent innovation in print media advertising strategies Blogger Information.
Guest Post By : Javaria Ahmed