Press Room

875 attend INMA’s South Asia News Media Summit, as business model sustainability and transformation emerge as key themes

18 August 2021

NEW DELHI (18 August 2021) – The power of data fused with journalism is breathing new life into the hopes for a sustainable digital business model for publishers in South Asia faced with digital and cultural transformations during the pandemic. This was the dominant message emerging from last week’s South Asia News Media Summit by the International News Media Association (INMA).

Some 875 delegates from 72 companies in 11 countries participated in the INMA South Asia virtual event, which brought together the professionals from the leading media companies in South Asia.

Key takeaways included:

  • Journalism fused with technology: Journalism is a growth story as consumers crave quality and credibility and publishers embrace data and technology, according to author Rishad Tobaccowala and the New York Times’ Stephen Dunbar-Johnson. 
  • Data’s impact on media: The centrality of data to a media company’s strategy is an important global trend beginning to impact South Asia, said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. This was punctuated by a case study on first-party data by Denmark’s JP/Politiken. 
  • Subscriptions rising: Subscription models are beginning to take off among South Asian publishers, notably in India. The Hindu and Indian Express are leading the way in this space.  
  • Consumer behaviours forcing change: Changing consumer behaviours are pushing publishers in new directions – ranging from Jagran and its custom pitches to advertisers to The Quint’s investments in video to NDTV’s investments in social media targeting Millennials.  
  • The newsroom evolution: Newsrooms are changing, new forms of storytelling are emerging, and editorial cultures are evolving based on these new behaviours as INMA delegates heard from The Daily Star, Amar Ujala, InShorts, and Times Internet. 
  • Print vs. digital: The pandemic forced South Asian publishers to smash myths about print and, in the absence of print, accelerate digital strategies and the user experience. Print advertising, in fact, is staging a comeback today. INMA heard this from Dainik Bhaskar, Times of India, HT Media, Express Newspapers Ceylon, and Eenadu. 
  • Big Tech: Settlements with Big Tech represent a country-by-country story that mean big money to publishers and a new détente with Facebook and Google, according to INMA Digital Platform Initiative lead Robert Whitehead. 

Meanwhile, INMA contributed to the Summit global learnings in transformation and platforms, from its news industry-leading initiatives.

Supported by the Facebook Journalism Project, Indian Newspaper Society (INS) and Notix, the August 12-13 Summit was testimony to INMA’s ongoing initiatives in South Asia, and association executives say planning is already under way for a 2022 follow-up event based on the popularity of last week’s virtual conference. Early evaluations suggest this was one of the highest-rated INMA events of the year.

“What INMA brings to South Asia media companies is a unique look at best practices around the business of journalism,” said Madhavi Sekhri, head of INMA’s South Asia Division. “Feedback from participants in last week’s Summit emphasised the strength of programming and the focus on the business side of the news industry. Financial freedom, sustainability, and growth are key themes in the INMA community and were resonated at the South Asia Summit.”

Registrants received access to the livestream, along with all recordings and presentations associated with the Summit.

Coverage of the INMA South Asia News Media Summit may be found at

The International News Media Association (INMA) is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-platform environment. The INMA community consists of more than 18,000 members at 900+ media companies in 77 countries. In its 91st year, INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, Webinars, virtual meetings, and an unparalleled archive of best practices. INMA leads the news industry with its initiatives dedicated to better understanding digital subscriptions, smart data, product, advertising, and the emerging relationship with the Big Tech platforms.




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