i next and Malayala Manorama win WAN-IFRA Young Reader Prizes

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | November 17, 2010
The winners were announced at the 12th WAN-IFRA Readership Conference and Expo being held in San Francisco.

Two Indian print media houses have made it to the top list of WAN-IFRA Young Reader Prizes. i next and Malayala Manorama have emerged as the winners in the Brand and Mobile categories, respectively.

In its 12th year, WAN-IFRA Young Reader Prizes honours newspapers that have engaged a young audience through a variety of strategies. This year, the awards highlight approaches via mobile telephones, via work based on youth research or through a programme that showed 'enduring excellence'. The awards were supported by Norske Skog, the Norway based global paper producer, as a part of its Newspapers in Education Development partnership with WAN-IFRA.

i next bagged the award in the brand category for its Health Meter campaign. The campaign targeted children and young parents of the 12 mini-metros where i next is present. The activity was based on the need gap regularly faced by the children and their parents in these cities.

With the low level of awareness on issues of health and hygiene among the school going kids due to various reasons, i next decided to cater to their concerns through the health education programme, Health Meter. Since a large chunk of its readers are young parents, in November 2009, the bilingual daily tied up with schools in the 12 cities to carry out a basic check-up of the children, which included hygiene, basic eye and dental check-up and basic growth rate analysis, and educated the children and their parents on how to stay healthy and fit.

One of the highlights of this activity was the title of the 'Healthiest School' of the city, given to the school that ensured maximum attendance for the activity. In each school, the doctor was introduced as the 'health uncle' as the word 'doctor' makes children uncomfortable. The kids-doctor interaction took place at a one-to-one level. With about 6,000 children getting a check-up in each city, the campaign reached 54,000 children across nine cities.

The other Indian print publisher to bag the WAN-IFRA Young Reader Award was Malayala Manorama. It won the award in the Mobile category for its campaign, Yuva-Connecting Youth, and was the only other publication from India to win the award.

For this campaign, the daily used an array of innovative and interactive mobile phone based activities to woo the young generation in the age group of 18-25 years towards newspaper reading. According to the jury of the award, "this entry showed excellent evidence of great ideas that were well accomplished and offered good revenue generation, while associating the print brand with mobile. It stood out because it was innovative and dynamic and had an ongoing potential to link to enthusiastic audiences".

The awards were presented at the 12th WAN-IFRA Readership Conference, being held in San Francisco on November 16-17.

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