Cape Town Summit covers Trump, tortoises, transformation

By Dawn McMullan


Dallas, Texas, USA


INMA members from Africa and around the world gathered on Monday and Tuesday in Cape Town, South Africa, for the INMA Global Media Summit Africa.

When not distracted by the eastern slopes of Table Mountain (and the nearby vineyards), news media leaders discussed the industry’s pressing issues: revenue, Big Data, distributed content, culture change, reinvention, the future of print, mobile, and re-organisation.

Here’s a Twitter view of the Summit:

Grzegorz Piechota, Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and director at Agora, is somewhat of an expert on Facebook and distributed content (having contributed two INMA reports on the topic and started his own blog this year, Dancing with Platforms).

Piechota tackled the subject, focusing on a few questions: Why do digital platforms engage audiences and advertisers better than products of legacy publishers? What’s the right strategy for news publishers: collaboration with platforms, competition, or both? How do you maintain exclusive relationship with customers?

Mark Challinor, INMA president and CEO of Media Futures Ltd., discussed mobile and the industry’s future audience, giving everyone a bit of data to consider. Two hundred times a day? Wow.

Damian Eales, managing director/metro and regional publishing at News Corp Australia, and Marcelo Benez, chief commercial officer at Folha de S.Paulo, discussed the always-intriguing topic how print and digital interact at news media companies right now.

News Corp in Australia sees print and digital as complementary and has staked out bold positions in both spaces: changing from metered model to freemium model in digital while continuing to push print circulation and advertising in new and innovative ways. Print remains a cornerstone of news consumption and advertising creativity at Folha de S.Paulo. 

Ravi Dhariwal, chairman of Sagacito, is the former CEO of The Times of India. Dhariwal presented a snapshot of best practices among India’s leading publishers and potential applications to African media.

The theme of strategy could be found throughout the two-day conference:

And, of course, it wouldn’t be an INMA conference without a little humor. First, political:

And then, tortoises!

We wish everyone safe travels back home. Thanks for joining us in Cape Town! 

About Dawn McMullan

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