Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Trends in Newsrooms 2005: a preview of the 12th World Editors Forum

It will be my second conference at the World Editors Forum and I begin to receive answers from speakers. Here is my introduction to this event to be held in Seoul, South Korea from 29 May to 1 June 2005:

"The newspaper industry in 2003 could be seen as a British year with the launching of compact editions for The Independent and The Times. A smart answer for young readers and commuters and the first real positive action to counterbalance the circulation crisis in mature markets.

By the same measure, 2004 was a German year due to the new initiatives of Axel Springer and Georg von Holzbrinck groups. Welt Kompakt, News and several other new titles now compete with free papers and also attract young readers. What is fascinating in this experience is that media groups have initiated collaborative and exchange processes between different newsrooms.

What will be the symbol of the year 2005? It could emerge at the 12th World Editors Forum to be held in Seoul.

Perhaps 2005 will be an American year. For four reasons:

- we have invited as keynote speaker Dan Gillmor, the well-known blogger and ex-columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, the pioneering Californian newspaper. He will tell us more about his wish to create citizen journalism based on his book We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People. Call it participatory journalism or public journalism or open source journalism, it is a major issue to involve more and more readers in the news gathering and debating process

- RSS (Real Simple Syndications) and news aggregators - as Google News and Google Alerts - are rather unknown outside the US. But editors need to know how it could reshape the way readers are informed. Personalized news is no longer a slogan, it is developing and very few newspapers are ready to this revolution. Google executives will explain their views on this issue, Rich Skrenta, CEO too.

- more and more American newspapers are considering charging subscription fees for the online version of their flagship newspaper. As New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr said: "It gets to the issue of how comfortable are we training a generation of readers to get quality information for free. That is troubling." Indeed!

- There have also been major innovations in the design of many American newspapers. Mario Garcia from Garcia Media will help us to discover their main innovations."

In other words, the 12th World Editors Forum is very promising with cutting edge information provided to cutting edge editors!

Source: 12th World Editors Forum

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on January 12, 2005 at 12:20 PM in a. Citizen journalism, c. Multimedia convergence, d. Design and infographics , e. Compact vs. broadsheet, g. Photojournalism, i. Future of print, j. Staff changes, l. Conferences and awards, m. Improving editorial quality, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul, t. 2005 Forum in Seoul | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Friday, June 04, 2004

We are awaiting your comments on the WEF Istanbul conference

Dear blogger, This posting is the last one in the category called "2004 Istanbul World Editors Forum" and dedicated to the "Newsroom Revolution". If you were among the 350 editors from around the world who attended the conference in Istanbul, please send us your comments (see below). We need to enhance this event next year in Seoul (29 May - 2 June 2005) and your feedback will be welcome. If you were not in Istanbul, we hope you will attend the Seoul Conference in 2005. Be on the lookout next week for our first posting in the "2005 World Editors Forum" category. See the programme of the WEF 2004 Conference. Here on the editors weblog you can read a synthesis of the presentations. Another choice in the WAN website, which features the daily news from the conference. (select Forum for editorial issues)

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on June 4, 2004 at 07:11 PM in n. Online strategies, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The printed press holds historic and contemporary influence in the Arab world

"The Printed Press Has Influence Too," Gebran Tueni(bio below), Editor & Publisher, An-Nahar, Lebanon: Even before the proliferation in Arab satellite television, the Arab press, particularly in Lebanon, had an influential role to play thanks to the power of national newspapers, said Mr Tueni at the 11th World Editors Forum in Istanbul. "It is an error to squeeze the history of the Arab press to a boom in TV," he said. "It was well before the birth of Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and other satellite networks that the power of the written newspaper word had an enormous role in shaping up the course of events, particularly in Lebanon."

The press in Beirut has never been state-owned, state-subsidized or state-run. All newspapers have been financed by the private sector and enjoyed enormous freedom and a high level of professionalism, Tueni said. This has allowed the Beirut press to perform a continuous active role, even
during the Ottoman Empire and the French mandate. It has never stopped struggling for independence, freedom and respect of human rights, he said.

Nowadays, it cannot compete with the satellite stations in the domain of live and immediate coverage, but it is proving its ability to influence the
course of events and provide testimony that the power of the written word is unassailable, Tueni explained. It is doing so largely through analyses, diversity of opinions, transparency and incessant championship of democracy and human rights, he continued. "There can be no democracy without press freedom."

Gebran Tueni has been with the Lebanese newspaper An-Nahar since 1979, when he joined the paper as Editor-in-Chief and an editorialist at its weekly magazine ?An-Nahar Arab and International.? He served as General Manager of the paper from 1993 to 1999 and has been General Manager of An-Nahar?s monthly magazine Noun since 1997. He ascended to his current position in January of 2000.

Tueni is a regular lecturer and guest on television and radio programs, where he speaks about a range of political issues. He has also produced and hosted his own television shows. He has been a WAN board member since 1991 and a member of WAN?s Fund for Press Freedom Development since 1994. He is an advisor in Communication and Information to UNESCO, a member of the National Lebanese Committee for Education, Technology and Culture and a member of the Lebanese Syndicate of the Press. Since 1996, he has been a member of Le Mondial de La Publicit? Francophone. During the Lebanese Civil War, Tueni was General Secretary of the Lebanese Front from 1986-1989.

Tueni was educated in Paris at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Internationales and the Ecole Sup?rieure de Journalisme. He also holds a degree in management from CEDED-INSEAD in Dijon. He lives in Beirut and Paris with his wife and two daughters.

Posted by Dana Goldstein on June 2, 2004 at 04:42 PM in s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Most Arabic news organizations are not set up to make money"

"Arab Media as an Emerging Power," Ian Ritchie (bio below), Vice President for Global Business, Associated Press, USA: Mr. Ritchie, the former CEO of Middle East Broadcasting, provided an overview of the Arab media market, from a historical, political and economic perspective at the 11th World Editors Forum today in Istanbul. From an economic perspective, "I do believe Arab media offers an excellent opportunity economically, but for a variety of reasons it has been unable to operate successfully," he said.

Advertising expenditures in the Gulf totaled 2.8 billion in 2003, up 17 percent on 2002, he said. Half goes to television, and 87 percent of the television advertising goes to the pan-Arab satellite television stations.

Print takes 45 percent of the advertising revenue."But these are entirely misleading figures -- ratecard numbers are discounted by about 75 percent," he says.

In fact, ad spending per capita in the Arab world is only US $6, compared with $369 in North America, $117 in Europe, $23 in Asia/Pacific and $7 in Africa.

"Why is this so? Most Arab media organisations are not set up to make money," he says."Political objectives - that is the issue that controls everything."

But things will change, said Mr. Ritchie, who forecasted a growth in new media. In addition, regulations will loosen, new investors will enter the market, market research will become more professional, multinational advertisers will spend more and the Arab world will become a growing and important market place, he speculated.

Before ascending to his current position, Ian Ritchie served the Associated Press from 2000 to 2003 as Chief Executive of Television News. Prior to that, he held executive positions at a variety of television news outlets, including Middle East Broadcasting, where he was Chief Executive Officer from 1998 to 2000, Channel Five Broadcasting, the London News Network, Tyne Tees Television and Granada Television.

In addition, Ritchie was Managing Director of Russell Reynolds Associates, an executive search firm. He also served as Governor of the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Director of the International Council at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Richie was called to the Bar in 1976. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford and the Leeds Grammar School. He is married with two sons, and enjoys the theatre, football, golf and tennis in his spare time.

Posted by Dana Goldstein on June 2, 2004 at 04:34 PM in s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Is it civilised to kill hundreds of thousands of people to civilise them, but uncivilised to show some of those dead?"

"Double Standards in the Media World," Maher Abdallah, head of International Affairs, Al-Jazeera TV, Qatar: There is a double standard at work in international criticism of Al-Jazeera, said Mr. Abdallah at the 11th World Editors Forum today. He mounted a spirited defense of his station's position and performance. It is accused of being biased, of being close to terrorists and Saddam, of showing too much blood. "Yes, we have been showing a lot of blood, there is no denying it," he said, asking: "Is it civilised to kill hundreds of thousands of people to civilise them, but uncivilised to show some of those dead? Will someone explain this to me? How can you kill hundreds of thousands to civilise them, and you don't even bother to count the dead? Yet, you expect me to follow suit? When Al Jazeera shows a couple of pictures of dead and mutilated bodies, suddenly we are uncivilised."

Western media, notably the New York Times, have acknowledged they were misled about the reasons for going to war in Iraq and are now more critical of US policy than they were at the start of the war. But when Al-Jazeera criticises the war, it is accused of being biased or worse, said Mr. Abdallah.

"When we say it, we are instigating. When CBS does it, or the Washington Post, nobody talks about treason. What we've been doing is showing the same thing, though exclusively Al-Jazeera."

Posted by Dana Goldstein on June 2, 2004 at 04:21 PM in g. Photojournalism, o. Ethics and Press Freedom, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Al Jazeera has replaced political parties..."

Hazem Saghieh (bio below), Editor of the Al Hayat newspaper in London, said today at the 11th World Editor's Forum that the Arabic television channel Al Jazeera has partly replaced and taken over the role of political parties in the Middle East. "Al Jazeera is the most influential party in the Arabic World", he said. This development has been helped by technological advances and the decline of traditional political parties in the region, Saghieh explained. "Al Jazeera claims that US military destroyed its offices in Kabul and Baghdad and an Al Jazeera correspondent in Madrid was accused of having helped Arabic terrorists. That is typical for a political party", Saghieh said.

Hazem Saghieh is a Lebanese writer and senior columnist at the AlHayat newspaper in London. He is also the editor of its weekly political supplement "Tayyarat" (currents) and is the author of many books about contemporary Arabic politics and culture.

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on June 2, 2004 at 03:00 PM in s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Is digital photography an entirely new medium?

Fred Ritchin (bio below) director of Pixelpress, said today at the 11th World Editor's Forum that the consequences of the digital photography revolution are unknown. "We think it is the old medium, just more efficient, but there are bigger differences," he noted. Recently, the most prominent photographs shot in Iraq were taken digitally by amateurs, and not by professional photographers, who were instead taking staged photographs, Ritchins noted. "What is wrong with the system, when professional photographers take staged photgraphs", he asked. One benefit of the digitql revolution should be that photgraphy can now show mulitple perspectives and give more context, Ritchens pointed out.

Fred Ritchin is director of PixelPress, an organization working at the intersection of new media, human rights and documentary. PixelPress has worked in collaboration with humanitarian organizations to end polio globally, to explain international humanitarian law, and to explore the juvenile justice system. PixelPress also publishes an online journal,, that received the Pictures of the Year International award for best multimedia publication (small circulation) in 2003.

Ritchin is also associate professor of Photography and Imaging at New York University?s Tisch School of the Arts and former Photo Editor of the New York Times Magazine. He also founded and directed the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography educational program at the International Center of Photography.

Ritchin created, with photographer Gilles Peress, the Web site for the New York Times, ?Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace,? which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in public service in 1997. He is the author of In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography and several essays on the history of photography. He also writes for many newspapers and magazines worldwide.

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on June 2, 2004 at 12:47 PM in g. Photojournalism, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Times of London Editor Elected President of World Editors Forum

George Brock, Managing Editor of The Times of London, has been elected President of the World Editors Forum, the global association dealing with issues of professional concern to senior news executives -- and the parent organization of this weblog. Mr Brock succeeds Gloria Brown Anderson of the New York Times. "WEF is the only global organisation devoted to raising and maintaining the quality of journalism in newsrooms," said Mr Brock. "In addition to joining in press freedom campaigns with the World Association of Newspapers, I would like to build up WEF's role as a network of editors who meet to exchange and debate best practice, trends and changes which affect journalists everywhere."

The WEF, the organisation for editors within the World Association of Newspapers, provides senior news executives with an arena in which to exchange ideas and information about the business of editing newspapers. Its flagship event is its annual conference, held in conjunction with WAN's World Newspaper Congress, the premier annual event of the global newspaper industry.

Mr Brock's election was announced at the the WEF Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday during the World Editors Forum summit in Istanbul, Turkey.

As Managing Editor for The Times, Mr Brock, 52, is responsible for editorial strategy and planning, recruitment, resources and media regulation. He was the launch editor of the compact edition of The Times.

He joined the Times in 1981 and has been a features writer and editor, Opinion Page editor, Foreign Editor (1987-1990), bureau chief in Brussels (1991-1995), and European Editor (1995-1997). He has contributed to newspapers across the world and broadcast frequently on the BBC.

He has been a member of the board of the WEF since 2001 and he sits on the British committee of the International Press Institute. He is a governor of the Anglo-American Ditchley Foundation.

Posted by Dana Goldstein on June 2, 2004 at 12:31 PM in b. Alliances and partnerships, c. Multimedia convergence, d. Design and infographics , e. Compact vs. broadsheet, f. Supplements and give-aways, g. Photojournalism, h. Young readers / New readers, i. Future of print, j. Staff changes, k. Circulation and newspaper launches, l. Conferences and awards, m. Improving editorial quality, n. Online strategies, o. Ethics and Press Freedom, p. Newsroom management, q. Regional and ethnic newspapers, r. Revenues and business models, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Digital photography: More output, but less quality?

Stanley Greene (bio below), a photojournalist with the Vu Agency in Paris, claimed today at the 11th World Editors Forum that in photojournalism today, there are more images produced because of the digital revolution, but there is less quality. If it goes on like this, he says, editors could "kill photojournalism." Greene suggests that photojournalists should regularly be accompanied by technicians who could share some of the photographer's workload.

Stanley Greene has worked with the VU Agency in Paris since 1991, photographing war zones, political upheaval and human rights crises from Sudan, to Chechnya, to India, to Rwanda. He is the recipient of the first prize this year from World Press Photo in the category of Daily Life.

Previously, Greene photographed American presidential campaigns, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the political evolution of Eastern Europe for publications such as The New York Times, Liberation, Stern, Newsweek, The Globe, The Times of London and Paris-Match.

Greene was born in New York in 1949. He holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on June 2, 2004 at 12:29 PM in g. Photojournalism, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"News photgraphy is dead!" But there is hope...

Per Folkver of the Danish daily newspaper Politiken said today at the 11th World Editors Forum that photojournalism must reinvent itself in order to survive the digital revolution. "News photography is dead," he claimed. "That exists on television," but not in newspapers any more. Photojournalism has to find its own role, Folkver said, "and then we will find that it is still powerful". In the future, Folkver advised, still photographs should be more beautiful than in the past, should make people think and they should ask questions instead of giving answers.

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on June 2, 2004 at 12:19 PM in g. Photojournalism, s. 2004 Forum in Istanbul | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack