Wednesday, December 03, 2014

You can’t do without knowledge of technology and business today

While making a presentation at the recent WAN-IFRA Conference in New Delhi, a senior executive from HT Media explained how his organisation was focused on pursuing continuous improvements in environmental health, safety, compliance, quality, overall equipment effectiveness, and total cost productivity. The objective was to reduce per-page cost by reducing per-page consumption of raw materials by minimising wastage and maximising efficiency. Several companies now realise how important it is to reduce wastage and improve efficiency. And if the sights are set on maintaining the highest standards of productivity and raising the bar whenever possible, progress is assured.

In the case of HT Media, after a safety policy was implemented, training programmes held and weekly reviews conducted, there was a positive impactemployees had a significant awareness about total costs, there was higher employee engagement, there was critical thinking, increased generation of ideas and continuous feedback. All this not only triggered further improvement in the workflow, but also led to greater transparency in processes.

In today’s world, achieving operational excellence is critical. If you look at your editorial system, for instance, there must be maximum efficiency when feeding the many different media channels as well as optimal usability for satisfied users. Publishers and editors worldwide are increasingly realising this.

This sentiment is reflected in WAN-IFRA’s Trends in Newsrooms 2014 Report, which states that the only one thing certain in newsrooms today is Change. You have to necessarily innovate to survive. So, editors must evolve accordingly, the report points out, assuming an increasingly diverse range of responsibilities. Not only must s/ he be an expert editorial manager and an excellent people manager and team leader, but also a person with the stomach to lead innovation, an entrepreneur’s approach to new technologies and products, and possibly even the holder of a degree in business. How times have changed!


And in Koenig & Bauer’s headquarters in Würzburg, KBA marketing director Klaus Schmidt, while stressing that printed newspapers would still be around in 2030, reflected a similar sentiment. The newspapers of 2030 would be different to today’s newspapers in terms of content and look, he said, adding that simply reducing costs led to a downward spiral and “surprising contents, smart commentaries and an attractive appearance are in demand… good editors and cutting-edge technology are thus essential”. 

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