World News Media Congress goes virtual and announces new dates

Taipei to host the congress in 2023

Taipei – the initially planned venue for this year’s World News Media Congress – will now host the event in June 2023. WAN-IFRA has planned to host the World News Media Congress this year as a virtual event from November 29 to December 2, 2021. The 2022 World News Media Congress will be held in Zaragoza, Spain.

This year’s virtual Congress will include the World Media Leaders Summit, World Editors Summit, Golden Pen of Freedom and Women in News Summit. It is free for WAN-IFRA members. The decision to move the congress online follows consultation with exhibitors, speakers, officials, and our strategic partner UDN (United Daily News Group of Taiwan) in light of the health restrictions applied in the country.

The 2021 Congress is part of a growing offering of virtual business events by WAN-IFRA. Since the beginning of 2021, more than 7,000 professionals have attended WAN-IFRA’s conference programme, marking a record audience since the launch of its virtual offering in 2020.

The programmes of the virtual congress are listed below.

Golden Pen of Freedom Award: Awarded by WAN-IFRA in recognition of outstanding action, in writing or deed, in the cause of press freedom.

World Media Leaders Summit: A focused conference stream for publishers, owners, CEOs and all those invested in building sustainable news organisations. This year’s theme is Redefining news in the new normal: what do audiences want?

The World Editors Summit: For editorial leaders who put journalism and its freedoms first when leading their newsrooms through these challenging times.

Women in News Summit: An invigorating gathering to support WAN-IFRA‘s sector- leading initiative to increase women‘s leadership and voice in news.

Digital Media Awards Worldwide: The news media industry‘s only truly global digital media competition. The 2021 winners are selected from winners of the 2020 regional Digital Media Awards.

November 29

In the session ‘The Business Barometer: The trends behind trends’ there will be a discourse on how has the news media industry weathered the lingering pandemic globally over the past year? Where will publishers invest next year and beyond, and what are the trends driving publishers’ critical decisions? These are just a few bottom line issues that will be addressed in this opening session. Speakers in the session will include Damian Radcliffe, School of Journalism & Communication, University of Oregon/Fellow, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University; Rasmus Nielsen, Director, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, UK; and Justin Eisenband, Managing Director, FTI Consulting, USA

Diversity, equity and inclusion have become embedded in progressive news media companies. The panellists will share their experiences in the session ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’. Presented by WAN-IFRA Women in News, with moderator Toyosi Ogunseye, Head of West Africa, BBC, Nigeria, there will be an executive: Navigating 2022 and beyond, in which the panel of speakers will include Stig Ørskov, CEO, JP/Politikens Hus, Denmark; Kristin Skogen Lund, CEO, Schibsted, Norway.

November 30

Having a sustainable business – the thorn in most news publishers’ side for years now! Then there are those publishers whose transformation efforts were already bearing fruit before the pandemic and it just accelerated their plans. These publishers delivered excellent top line and bottom line results in the last few years, restricted their businesses and kept their ships on course. Top executives share their companies’ successes and lessons learned.

In the session ‘Thriving during a Crisis’ moderator Prof Dr Lucy Kueng, Strategic Advisor, Author, Speaker Senior Research Executive, Reuters Institute, Oxford University will be accompanied by keynote speaker Sinead Boucher, CEO, Stuff Ltd, New Zealand;

In the subsequent session, ‘Facing the Headwinds in Print & Distribution’ there will be a chance to meet he innovative ones who converted distribution challenges into opportunities and reorganised the print operations into revenue centre. Presented by WAN-IFRA World Printers Forum, speakers in the session will include Hans Peter Nissen, Head of Logistics, JP/Politiken Media Group, Denmark.

The next session will be on ‘Innovations and Inspirations’ in which there will be quick fire sessions with new ideas and best practices from around the world – including from the winners of our regional and global digital media awards!

December 1

‘Journalism’s Big Challenge’—in this session the speakers will bring out the forces disrupting journalism and news organisations growing everyday to trigger questions over the journalistic method, focus and relevance at a time when societies face significant, global challenges. How are editors responding to the pressures on freedoms, finances, truth while telling the big stories of our time, such as climate change?

Speakers in the session will include Alessandra Galloni, Editor in Chief, Reuters, UK; Wolfgang Blau Co-Founder, Oxford Climate Journalism Network; Warren Fernandez, Editor-in-Chief, The Straits Times & SPH’s English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, Singapore; Liz Corbin, Deputy Director of Media and Head of News, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Switzerland.

Golden Pen of Freedom: There will be round table on press freedom. In the session ‘The 2022 newsroom and beyond’ there will be editorial engine room morphing into something quite different from the romantic depictions of the past. With more tasks being managed by AI, more engineers on the newsroom floor, more video, fewer words, and no real need to be based in a central office, what does the future newsroom look like? There will be case studies plus discussion and moderator Dmitry Shishkin

Digital transformation, content strategy and innovation consultant, WEF Board Member, UK will host speaker panel Matt Murray, Editor in Chief, The Wall Street Journal & Dow Jones Newswires New York; and Alison Gow, Audience and Content Director North West, Reach plc, UK.

December 2

The session will be on ‘Journalism in the Age of Influencers’. With audiences flocking to influencers for adventures, advice, news and everything in between, we take a closer look at how they have created engaging content to attract and serve new, younger and more diverse audiences. Can journalists and editors ever be influencers while maintaining editorial independence and integrity? What should the new rules of engagement be? Lend your voice to this hotly debated topic! The speakers will consist of Winston Utomo, Founder & CEO, IDN Media, Indonesia; and Saxon Phipps, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Year13, Australia

The question is ‘After COP26 – What’s next for ‘green media’? With ever-more scenes of disasters across the world, environmental issues have made it to the top of the news agenda as, perhaps, never before. 2021 has finally seen world leaders make it to Glasgow for the postponed COP26 to thrash out what we may all have to do next for the planet.

But some will remember the headlines made during the Rio ‘Earth Summit’ in 1992 – which paved the way for the 2015 Paris Agreement – perhaps, even, the first such global environmental convention, held in 1972. This is all, in some ways, old news.

Meanwhile, the idea of ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ media, whether considering reporting on the environment, or the environmental impact of such reporting, may feel new, lack definition, or even feel remote, for those across editorial, commercial and organisational roles. This session will bring together experts from across corporate governance, editorial, policy and further to debate these issues and more.

What should the industry’s response be to the latest global environmental talks? How has the news media performed on communicating public-interest stories about environmental issues? Can the news media itself be environmentally sustainable? Moderator Kirsty Styles, PhD researcher, University of Central Lancashire, UK, will host a panel of speakers, viz. Markus Ahlberg, Head of Sustainable Business Development, Schibsted, Sweden; Martha Henriques, Editor, BBC Future Planet, UK

In the closing keynote, Sam Guzik, Director of News Product at WNYC and a Foresight Affiliate at the Future Today Institute, USA, will take on ‘How to Adapt to the New Abnormal’.

All sessions are in Central European Time (CET). On-demand videos can be accessed after the event.

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