World Association of News Publishers

WAN-IFRA’s Strengthening Media and Society Programme Begins in Asia

WAN-IFRA’s Strengthening Media and Society Programme Begins in Asia

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WAN-IFRA’s Strengthening Media and Society programme arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to deliver three days of workshop training, professional networking and press freedom advocacy as part of the Foreign Ministry of Denmark-funded two-year global initiative. 36 media professionals representing 23 media companies from across Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines participated in training sessions and exchanged professional best practice on innovation, digital strategies, editorial leadership and media freedom challenges.

A seminar on integrating innovation in media opened the three-day programme. Lasse Chor, founding partner of happy42 in Denmark and Stephen Fozard, Director of WAN-IFRA’s Global Alliance for Media Innovation(GAMI) showcased different approaches for media to engage with the technology and academic sectors. The message was to promote greater collaboration over future product development as well as enhance the potential sustainability of 21st Century media businesses. Dash Dhakshinamoorthy, entrepreneur and founder of Startup Malaysia, also shared experiences of the media and the start-up community in Southeast Asia, welcoming proposals from those present to collaborate on innovative news projects.

Bryan Hooley, VP of Business Development (APAC) for NEWSCYCLE Solutions in Sydney, Australiaopened the programme’sDigital Strategies training stream by asking ‘What is a digital Strategy?’ before addressing the digital transformation process and how innovation is an essential element to that.

Wahyu Dhyatmika, Editor at Tempo Media Group ran day two of the Digital Strategies stream with a seminar focusing on managing digital transition and exploring why digital newsrooms need to master data journalism as a priority.

The Women's Editorial Leadership workshop saw Paula Fray, founder of Fray Intermedia run two-days of practical sessions on leadership and management in changing media environments, with participants analysing their organisational cultures and looking at how best to coach and manage their teams. Creating an effective culture to lead a multi-platform team as well as skills to manage specialist desks completed the agenda.

The final workshop day was dedicated to addressing media freedom challenges, with individual country Media Freedom Committees discussing the pressing issues and proposing solutions for their resolution. Led by The Strengthening Media and Society programme’s regional manager for Asia, Eko ‘Item’ Maryadi, the Media Freedom Committee representatives promoted the joint development of action plans and roadmaps to build solidarity between participating media, as well as strategies for how to better reach and engage the communities in which they operate.

Under the directives of the Committee, WAN-IFRA will support these plans over the coming months to assist advocacy at national and regional levels, aiming to support local media in their efforts to secure greater freedoms.

Prior to the training programme, participants spent two-days attending WAN-IFRA’s Audience Intelligence Summit, where over 100 regional professionals heard from leading global experts on the latest analytical and tech-based solutions for better understanding audience demands through data.


Ten media were represented from Indonesia: Fajar Group, The Jakarta Post, Jubi, Kompass, Pikirat Rakyat,, Suara Pembaruan National Newspaper, Tempo, Tribun and Solopos; seven from Malaysia: Malaysia Kini, The Malay Mail Online, Oriental Daily, Sinar Harian, Sin Chew Jit Poh, The Star and The Sun; and six from The Philippines: Business Mirror Daily, Cebu Daily News, Rappler, Philippine Star, The Standard and Sun.Star.


For more on the Strengthening Media and Society programme

The Strengthening Media and Society programme, funded through a two-year engagement between WAN-IFRA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, seeks to build the internal capacity of media in developing countries and fragile states by strengthening digital actors, creating linkages between media, and empowering women media leaders. Addressing governance, accountability, professional safety, economic prosperity, poverty reduction and human rights issues, the Strengthening Media and Society programme also aims to tackle systemic threats to media freedoms by strengthening legal protections and encouraging knowledge exchange, promoting information sharing and solidarity activities between media, and building practical coalitions between media, civil society and decision-makers at the highest levels. The programme will also look to harness media innovation, cutting-edge research and technology, industry and academic partners to assist in developing a sustainable future for news publishing in challenging environments.


The event in Kuala Lumpur was the third in a series of four regional workshops that will welcome in total 160 media professionals from more than 60 media organisations. Previous workshops were held in Amman (Jordan) and Cartagena (Colombia), and the programme will continue with workshops in Grahamstown (South Africa) in August. A series of webinars and online support programmes; individualised coaching, mentoring and one-on-one professional development sessions; twinning opportunities and media exchanges; advocacy events and media innovation and development will follow.



Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2016-07-20 13:44

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...