I was wowed last year by Jagran Prakashan Ltd.’s “957 Pages from a Daughter’s Diary” series, which won two first-place awards at the INMA Global Media Awards. The purpose of the series was to promote International Day of the Girl Child and raise awareness of “gaping holes in our patriarchal society.” Jagran published 957 first-hand accounts and reached 52.5 million readers with this initiative.
Jagran, the largest print media group in India, is an interesting company:
- 10 titles.
- More than 400 editions.
- Across 13 states.
- In 5 languages.
- 68 million readership.
Its holdings include print, digital, and radio, as well as out-of-home and brand activation. In the third quarter of 2018, the company posted digital advertising revenue up 16.8% year-on-year from 2017.
I talked with Jagran’s Sanjay Gupta, editor-in-chief and CEO, as well as a member of INMA’s South Asia Division board, about what this New Delhi-based media company has planned for the year as it tries to engage print and digital audiences with compelling content:
INMA: What is Jagran Prakashan’s biggest idea/initiative for the coming year?
Gupta: We are working towards developing common content properties for print and digital. The idea is to leverage reader interactivity in digital to enhance the print experience.
INMA: What do you see as the big opportunities in 2019 and how are you taking advantage of them?
Gupta: In India, general elections are round the corner. For the next four months, content both in digital and print will be primarily focused on politics and election. Like all media houses, we would also be giving attention to this mega event.
There are a few initiatives that [our] print and digital teams are planning, which will essentially be interactions with candidates. (I cannot elaborate as the project is still under wraps!!)
INMA: What keeps you up at night?
Gupta: The proliferation of digital media is constantly throwing up challenges to established newsrooms. Giving credible content and simultaneously doing compelling journalism is increasingly becoming demanding for editors.
INMA: What success within your company are you most proud of at this moment?
Gupta: Our flagship newspaper, Dainik Jagran, was adjudged the most widely read newspaper of India in the recently concluded Indian Readership survey. This survey happened after a gap of three years and with new methodology. Achieving this coveted position in this new survey was important for us as an acknowledgement of our leadership, which we have had for more than a decade.
Our continued focus on credibility, [and] meaningful and agenda-setting journalism has surely given us an edge in Hindi journalism over our competition. I think this has helped in maintaining our No. 1 position in readership over the last decade.
To boost our efforts for doing creditable journalism, recently we started a project to identify fake news floating on social media via a Web site, www.vishwasnews.com. This project has gotten validation from the International Fact-Checking Network.