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Friday, January 28, 2005

Trends in newsrooms to be examined at World Editors Forum

First there was the trend to compact newspapers, and then an explosion of new titles to compete with free papers and attract young readers. But what will be the defining newsroom trends in 2005? The answer is certain to emerge at the 12th World Editors Forum, to be held in Seoul, South Korea, from 29 May to 1 June.

Among the topics to be examined at the Forum, the annual global meeting for senior newsroom executives, will be:
- The rise of the "citizen journalist." Call it what you will -- participatory journalism, public journalism or open source journalism -- it is becoming a clear that more and more readers are becoming involved in the news gathering and debating process. Conference participants will be able to discuss the subject with keynote speaker Dan Gillmor, ex-columnist of the San Jose Mercury News, major blogger and author of "We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People."
- The risks and challenges posed by RSS (Real Simple Syndication) and news aggregators such as Google News and Google Alerts, in which general and personalised news is provided by machines, not editors. "Personalised news" has moved from being a slogan to reality, but very few newspapers are ready for this revolution. The session will feature Rich Skrenta, CEO of Topix.net, Susan Mernit, a US-based consultant and former senior executive with AOL, and a representative from Google.
- An audit of changing formats. The rush to compact newspapers is well documented, but what is less clear are the results of the latest format and design changes. The WEF conference will examine the innovations that have worked and those that have not in a session featuring newspaper designer Mario Garcia and Didier Pillet, Editor of France's largest circulation general interest newspaper, Ouest France.

Hundreds of chief editors and other senior newsroom executives are expected to participate in the World Editors Forum, which runs concurrently with the 58th World Newspaper Congress and Info Services Expo 2005. The events are
the global meetings of the world's press, drawing more than 1,000 newspaper executives to a unique annual gathering organised by the World Association of Newspapers.

Other highlights of the WEF conference include:

- A session on "Visual journalism: infographics at the cutting edge", which will provide practical tips on how to benefit from the new infographics wave. Katie Ratcliffe, the Asia Pacific manager for graphics for Agence France-Presse, will chair the session.

- A session on "Editorial networks: do more with less" will examine alliances among newspapers in different markets to share coverage of international (and sometimes regional) events. The session will feature Miguel Angel Bastenier, International Affairs Director for Spain's El Pais (which created such a network with Le Monde in France and La Repubblica in Italy) and Imtiaz Alam, the General Secretary of the South Asian Free Media Association in Pakistan.

- Three special events to encourage networking among editors: a cocktail reception, and breakfast meetings with Korean editors and will Chinese editors.

- A press conference with Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, who will also be a
featured speaker during the joint opening ceremonies.
- And much more.

The World Editors Forum theme is "Your readers are changing? Change your newspaper!" For more information, including the evolving programme details
and registration information, contact Julia Hewkin, Events Coordinator, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 75005 Paris, France.
Telephone +33 1 47 42 85 00, Fax +33 1 47 42 49 48, e-mail: jhewkin@wan.asso.fr.

The Paris-based WEF is the organisation of the World Association of Newspapers that represents senior news executives. WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, represents 18,000
newspapers; its membership includes 72 national newspaper associations, individual newspaper executives in 101 countries, 13 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy
St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36.
E-mail: lkilman@wan.asso.fr

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on January 28, 2005 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

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