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Rashtradoot’s COVID-19 initiatives earn it second place at the Global Media Awards 2020

The initiative, titled “Stand Tall with Rashtradoot” focused on how to effectively and humanitarianly manage print in the times of COVID-19.

INMA, the Internal News Media Association, announced the winners of the Global Media Awards 2020 in a live broadcast on Tuesday. In a special awards category titled “Best Initiative in Response to COVID-19”, Rajasthan’s Rashtradoot won second place in the regional/local brands group for its bold and humanitarian efforts in maintaining employee dignity, hawker welfare, upkeep of circulation and reader engagement.

The just-in-time “bonus” category reflects structured initiatives by media companies to inspire community and engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 98 entries from across the globe, and over 20 from India itself, focused on initiatives aimed to bring communities together, provide hope, lift spirits, encourage interactivity, inspire trust, and do good.

From the entries that were submitted for the COVID-19 category launched in April, Global Media Awards judges selected 12 finalists — six from national/international companies and six from local/regional companies. Only two Indian brands made it to the finalists – The Hindu in Group 1 and Rashtradoot in Group 2.

Rashtradoot was the only finalist and winner not just from Rajasthan and India, but the entire Asia Pacific region in the local/regional companies group – a testament to its “hyperlocal” presence and efforts to bring together its community of stakeholders in these difficult times.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is the ‘trust moment’ for news media brands, and the entries submitted for this bonus INMA category redefine what ‘inspiration’ and ‘hope’ mean,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “Feedback from the judges has been that this was one of the toughest assignments ever and that every entry truly is a winner.”

The initiative, titled “Stand Tall with Rashtradoot” focused on how to effectively and humanitarianly manage print in the times of COVID-19. From small steps – such as zero salary cuts and layoffs, to health and life insurance for hawkers, Rashtradoot aimed at keeping the hopes and spirits up of not just its employees and stakeholders, but also had structured initiatives to keep reader engagement high. Key steps in this included ensuring a stabilised circulation despite the constraints of the lockdown. This was achieved by daily delivery of newspaper through an in-house circulation team, milk booths, grocers, and fruit/vegetable vendors.

Also, it was one of the few publications to not reduce the number of pages printed, allowing readers a full and immersive reading experience, more so during the last few months. An engaging English centre spread “ARBiT” - carrying stories by readers, as well as international journalists and doctors, coupled with succinct coverage in the vernacular medium, meant that a broad range of audience were able to keep abreast with the on goings of the pandemic – both the factual and human angle.

Rashtradoot is Rajasthan’s oldest newspaper, established way back in 1951. With a heritage of almost 70 years, and a leadership position of over four decades, it has, and continues to command respect in the field of journalism and loyalty from readers. In 2016, it became Rajasthan’s first bilingual newspaper with the introduction of ARBiT – a unique English centre spread aimed at bringing meaningful leisure reading to the people of Jaipur.

(We got this information from a press release.)