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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Google News creator at the 12th World Editors Forum

Is Google News a threat to newspapers? It is a question that editors from around the world can ask the creator of Google News, Krishna Bharat, when he takes the podium at the 12th World Editors Forum in Seoul, Korea, on 30 May 2005. Mr Bharat, a Principal Scientist at Google Inc. and head of Google's Research & Development Centre in Bangalore, India, will be a keynote speaker in a session on "New frontiers for journalism" at the Forum, the global meeting of senior news executives to be held from 29 May to 1 June concurrently with the World Newspaper Congress.

Mr Bharat describes Google News as "a computer-generated newspaper that unifies news from online newspapers worldwide with an emphasis on diversity and balance." It is a continuously updated news site that allows users to search and browse 4,500 news sources. Mr Bharat says people use Google News in addition to their usual news sources.

"Google News' focus is on diversity, and that's where the real added value is," he said in a recent interview. "It's a bit like a bookstore that takes content on a single subject and puts it all on the same shelf. People use Google News to complement their favourite source, like CNN. You come to Google News when you want a wide range of articles -- in both opinions and style -- on that subject."

Mr Bharat will share the stage with Dan Gillmor, author of "We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People", who is developing a citizen-generated, grassroots journalism project.

Mr Gillmor, a noted technology columnist and "blogger", has frequently commented on the rise of Google News, and takes exception to the contention that the automated nature of Google News makes it free of bias. "Since humans programmed the computers, human biases -- or at least mistakes -- inevitably creep into the results," he says.

The debate begins.

The 12th World Editors Forum, 58th World Newspaper Congress and Info Services Expo 2005 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.

For the evolving conference programme, a participants list and other information, consult the WAN web site at http://www.wan-press.org/seoul2005

Other highlights of the WEF conference include:

- An examination of "Tabloid Fever: Is the temperature going down?" with Jan-Eric Peters, Editor of Germany's Die Welt, Welt Kompakt and Berliner Morgenpost, newspaper designer Mario Garcia, Didier Pillet, the Editor of Ouest France, Robb Montgomery, Visual Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, and George Brock, Saturday Editor of The Times of London.


- A session entitled "What makes Asian newspapers different?", featuring Asian success stories from Vir Sanghvi, Editorial Director of The Hindustan Times in India; Keiko Chino, Senior Editorial Writer for the Sankei Shimbun in Japan; and Sang-Seok Lee, Executive Director of The Korea Times. The session will be chaired by Andrew Lynch, Editorial Director of the Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project for the World Association of Newspapers and founder of the pan-Asian newspaper trade magazine, Asian Newspaper Focus.

- A session on infographics and visual journalism featuring Alberto Cairo, the Infographics editor at El Mundo in Spain, Jeff Goertzen, the Infographics Editor at the St. Petersburg Times in the United States, Peter Espina, the Infographics Editor of the China Daily, and Katie Ratcliffe, the Asia Pacific Manager for Graphics for Agence France-Presse.

- A session on using editorial networks to expand news coverage efficiently, with Miguel Angel Basteiner, International Affairs Director of El Pais, Spain, and Director of the Le Monde/El Pais/La Repubblica network, Risto Uimonen, Editor of Kaleva in Finland, and Imtiaz Alam, General Secretary of the South Asian Free Media Association.

- A discussion of the "citizen journalist" movement, with panelists Barry Sussman, Director of the Nieman Watchdog Project, Joichi Ito, CEO of Japan's Neoteny, and Andrew Nachison, Director of the US-based Media Center.

- A look at "new legal dangers: privacy issues and sports rights" with Kai Diekmann, Editor of Bild in Germany, Ko Yamaguchi, Advisor for International Affairs for Japan's Kyodo News Service, Monique Villa, Senior Vice President for Reuters, and Ari Valjakka, Editor of Finland's Turun Sanomat.

- And many others.

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, 11 news agencies and nine regional and world-wide press groups.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communication. E-mail: lkilman@wan.asso.fr

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on April 5, 2005 at 01:18 PM in a. Citizen journalism, b. Alliances and partnerships, c. Multimedia convergence, l. Conferences and awards, t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink

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