i next bags WAN-IFRA honours

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | May 29, 2012
The bilingual daily has won the top award in the Public Service category for this year's World Young Reader Prize and has also been named World Young Reader Newspaper of the Year.

i next, Jagran Prakashan's bilingual daily, has once again been honoured by WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) this year. Competing against print publications across the world, i next has won the top award in the Public Service category of WAN-IFRA's World Young Reader Prize. The publication has also been named the World Young Reader Newspaper of the Year for 2012.

The accomplishment continues i next's consistent run at winning WAN-IFRA awards. In 2010, it won the top honour in the brand category for Health Meter, and also received a special mention in the same category last year.

This year, the awards will be given away on July 10 in Bangkok, Thailand at the First Asia-Pacific Young Reader Summit.

WAN-IFRA awards the World Young Reader Prize annually to newspapers that devise innovative projects to develop young readership.

Alok Sanwal

"The awards are given away in five categories, including Editorial, Making the News, Newspapers in Education (NIE), Public Service and Brand. They honour newspaper companies that have devised the best projects and activities during the past two years to promote newspaper reading and usage across platforms, among those aged less than 25 years.

The judges look for innovative strategies that produce measurable results, particularly those that can be adapted for use in other countries and especially encourage use of multiple platforms.

i next's win at WAN-INFRA this year centred around three campaigns - The Power of Youth, Bhari Basta and Iktara.

With The Power of Youth, a survey was done to tap the thinking and preferences of the youth during the run up to the Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. A page (Tol Mol Ke Poll) was carried daily and throughout February; the page focused on issues related to the elections and connected with the youth through a column, Sadda Haq.

Bhari Basta was an educative and investigative campaign that activated the government, school authorities, parents and teachers to reduce the weight of children's school bags. It was run across 12 cities of four states.

The Iktara campaign was a folk singing competition that was integrated online to encourage folk singing talent.

Commenting on the win, Shailesh Gupta, director, Jagran Prakashan, says, "It is for the substantial focus and tangential wisdom on the part of team i next that such smart campaigns were run, which incorporated both the news value and more importantly, the societal concerns. It has been yet another token of excellence for the Jagran Group and I believe the good work will be kept up in the future, too."

We have always tried to capture the social concerns with a young eye. All our major campaigns are directed at influencing young minds and developing in them a taste of societal awareness and understanding. We will continue to undertake such path-breaking campaigns that underline our responsibility to change the world around us," adds Alok Sanwal, project head and chief operating officer, i next.

The jury at WAN-IFRA found that the campaigns provided a refreshing perspective on corruption, compassion and creativity.

An official communication from WAN-IFRA states, "i next did an excellent job to galvanise youth to get out and vote. We found it especially interesting that the youth considered corruption the No. 1 topic of concern. The other two projects entered also showed creativity and relevance. The investigative report and campaign about heavy backpacks truly made a difference and the folk singing contest was a fresh approach to youth entertainment."

Last year, the World Young Reader Newspaper of the Year award was won by Indonesian newspaper JAWA POS.

For the record, WAN-IFRA is a global organisation of the world's press, representing more than 18,000 publications; 15,000 online sites; and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. It gives away awards for excellence in the defence and promotion of press freedom, quality journalism, editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses and technology.

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