World News Media Congress 2021 heading to Taipei to explore new reality of post-pandemic news media

Three consecutive days of World News Media Congress 2021 (September 28 – 30) will explore the post-pandemic media outlook, regaining revenue and new opportunities, digital subscription, distributed newsrooms, solutions journalism, leadership in challenging times and Women in News Leadership. The leading news media congress is heading to Taipei, Taiwan, to resume face-to-face format conference.

Fernando de Yarza López-Madrazo, President of Henneo and WAN-IFRA announces that the 2021 Congress will be a key moment for media leaders to reconnect and figure out a new baseline for the future of the industry. The three days of the congress will be segregated with sessions and programmes viz. Day 1: World News Day, Women in News, GAMI, Golden Pen of Freedom, Welcome Reception; Day 2: World Media Leaders Summit, World Editors Forum, Gala Dinner, World News Media Awards; Day 3: World Media Leaders Summit and World Editors Forum.

Fernando de Yarza states that in Taipei the industry will look very different from the way it did at in the last Congress in 2019. Demand for trustworthy news has never been greater, but the economic and financial shock of COVID-19 has upended carefully laid strategies. Many news publishers have been forced into survival mode.

Urgent and critical discussions about the future of the news industry are needed. This is what World News Media Congress 2021 has to help reset news publishing.

Popular speakers

Marty Baron: Marty Baron is Executive Director of The Washington Post since 2013, overseeing newspaper’s print and digital news operations and a staff of more than 800 journalists. Newsrooms under his leadership have won a total of 14 Pulitzer Prizes, including seven at The Post. During his tenure at The Post, it won four times for national reporting, once for explanatory reporting, once for investigative reporting and once for public service, the latter in recognition of revelations of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency. His career in journalism has brought him to top editing positions at Boston Globe, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Miami Herald, where he began his career in journalism in 1976.

Phillip Crawley: Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, Phillip worked in Europe, Asia and New Zealand before he joined the Canadian newspaper in October 1998. He was appointed Publisher and CEO in June 1999. In print for 165 years, The Globe and Mail has consistently delivered Canada’s best and deepest coverage of national, international and business news. With a cumulative six-day readership total of over 2.4 million, the newspaper has a wide and a highly loyal readership.

Warren Fernandez: Warren Fernandez joined Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) in 1990 as a political reporter and rose to become a News Editor. He went on to serve as Foreign Editor and Deputy Editor. He then joined Royal Dutch Shell in 2008 as a Global Manager for its Future Energy Project, before returning to the paper in February 2012 as its Editor. He assumed the role of Editor-in-Chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) English/Malay/Tamil Media group (EMTM) from July 2016. Graduated with First Class Honours from Oxford University, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Fernandez also holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Nic Newman: Nic Newman is Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism where he writes on the future of digital media. He is lead author of the Digital News Report the world’s biggest and most authoritative survey of changing news consumption and was joint author of a recent report on the Future of Online Video. Nic was a founding member of the BBC News Website, leading international coverage as World Editor (1997-2001). As Head of Product Development and then Future Media Controller for BBC News (2001-10), he helped introduce innovations such as blogs, podcasting and on-demand video. He works on digital, product and engagement strategies for a wide range of media companies across Europe.

Toyosi Ogunseye: As the Head of West Africa at the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, Toyosi Ogunseye manages the operations and the five language services of the BBC in Francophone Africa and Anglophone West Africa. She has over 14 years experience as an investigative journalist on different beats like politics, crime, business, health and environment. Oluwatoyosi was the first female editor in the 41-year history of Punch Newspaper, Nigeria’s most widely read newspaper. She is the winner of the Presidential Precinct Inaugural Young Leader Award in the United States which she received alongside Secretary Madeline Albright. She also received the University of Ibadan’s Distinguished Award for Journalism Excellence in 2016. Ogunseye is a 2015 Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative Media Fellowship Programme and a 2014 Laureate of the African Women in News Leadership Award given by the World Association of Newspapers. In 2014, she won journalism’s premier prize: The Knight International Journalism Award, making her the first Nigerian journalist to win the global award.

Emily Ramshaw: Being the co-founder and CEO of The 19th, Emily Ramshaw was previously editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, an award-winning nonpartisan digital news startup that now boasts the largest statehouse reporting bureau in the country and the nation’s most successful business model for local news. A Washington DC native, Emily started her career at The Dallas Morning News. She is the youngest member of the board of the Pulitzer Prize. A graduate of Northwestern University, Emily lives with her husband and daughter in Austin.

Maria Ressa: A journalist in Asia for nearly 35 years, Maria Ressa co-founded Rappler, the top digital only news site that is leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines. As Rappler’s executive editor and CEO, Maria has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government, forced to post bail eight times to stay free. Rappler’s battle for truth and democracy is the subject of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary, A Thousand Cuts. For her courage and work on disinformation and ‘fake news,’ Maria was named Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, was among its 100 Most Influential People of 2019, and has also been named one of Time’s Most Influential Women of the Century. She was also part of BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2019 and Prospect magazine’s world’s top 50 thinkers.

Mark Thompson: Mark Thompson became president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company on November 12, 2012. He is responsible for leading the company’s strategy, operations and business units. Mark has been instrumental in accelerating the pace of The Times’s digital transformation. Under his leadership, The Times became the first news organization in the world to pass the one million digital-only subscription mark. Before joining the Times Company, Mark served as director-general of the BBC from 2004, where he reshaped the organisation to meet the challenge of the digital age, ensuring that it remained a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the BBC iPlayer.

Ingeborg Volan: Ingeborg Volan is editor for publishing strategy and visual journalist at Dagens Næringsliv, Norway’s most prominent business newspaper. Previously, she held the position of director of audience engagement. She’s an online news veteran who early saw the possibilities of reaching audiences better online. She’s very passionate about understanding news users and letting their needs shape journalism. Among other roles, Ingeborg has previously worked as the first head of social media at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and lead the NRKbeta innovation crew. She’s also taught digital journalism at the Norwegian Institute for Journalism, been head of newsroom innovation at Adresseavisen and president of the Norwegian Online News Organisation.

Vibrant venue

WAN-IFRA expresses its delighted to be heading east for the 2021 Congress, to the vibrant city of Taipei, capital of Taiwan. Following their enforced absence in 2020, the congress will be held in a country that has, to date, been the least affected by the pandemic globally. This remarkable achievement is in part due to the highly digitised population of almost 24-million people and a democratically elected government and competitive society who embrace technology and innovation.

Taipei is one of the world’s most digitally wired nations. In Freedom House’s assessment of free and independent media in 2019, Taiwan scored full marks. The proximity to China means many of the media houses have significant business interests in China or rely on advertising by Chinese companies.

United Daily News, local partner for World News Media Congress 2021, is Taiwan’s largest privately-operated Chinese-language media group. It publishes United Daily News, Economic Daily News, World Journal, with editions published in North America and Southeast Asia. Its digital website, udn.com is the most popular news portal in the country.

Is travelling to Taiwan safe?

Your safety is top priority. The organisers are working closely with United Daily News and the Taiwanese Government on the logistics of hosting a global event with minimal risk. The high-tech nation has one of the best records globally for effectively curbing the spread of COVID-19. With their monitoring and guidance, the organisers will keep updated on health, safety and travel regulations.

World News Media Congress 2019 was three days of ideas, strategies and inspiration – with deep insights on news media transformation. While the 2020 Congress was successfully held virtually, the excitement is to meet face-to-face in Taiwan in the next World News Media Congress 2021!


Testimonies from the last congress
  • Leaving Glasgow after an inspiring World News Media Congress. Thank you, WAN-IFRA, for putting together such a rich programme. There are plenty of reasons to feel upbeat about the industry and journalism – in particular amazing individuals.
    -Alexandra Borchardt, Director of Leadership Programmes, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, UK
  • What a wonderful conference! Honestly one of the most useful and interesting events I’ve attended in a long time. And so good to see truly global representation from all corners of the world. Congratulations to the diligent organising team on a job very well done. My favourite session: research on trust in ads by platform. Hopefully will serve as ROI leverage to bring some ad revenue back to our industry. Thank you!
    -Corinne Podger, Founder, Digital Skills Agency, Australia
  • Thank you to the team WAN-IFRA for putting together a great conference and thank you to all the speakers and panellists who provided great insight and guidance. It was good seeing everyone and hope you all made it back home safe and sound! See you all very soon!
    -Mannish Popat, Businesses Manager, Newsasset Ltd
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