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World News Media Congress 2015: Media Executives from 80 Countries Gather in Washington, D.C. June 1-3

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

World News Media Congress 2015: Media Executives from 80 Countries Gather in Washington, D.C. June 1-3

Article excerpt

More than 900 media professionals from around the world attended the 67th annual World News Media Congress June 1-3 in Washington, D.C. The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, in cooperation with the Newspaper Association of America, held the event in conjunction with the World Editors Forum and World Advertising Forum.

During the opening ceremony, the 2015 Golden Pen of Freedom was awarded to the journalists killed in the line of duty. Nearly 1,200 journalists have been killed since 1992. Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon Jr. filled in for the previously-scheduled Secretary of State John Kerry by welcoming the Congress to D.C.

The last time the event was held in the U.S. was in the nation's capital 20 years ago, and in the past two decades, session topics have certainly changed.

During a panel, Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron shared his perspective on the evolving profession. "Our biggest challenge is getting asked to do so much," he told the audience. 'We're a 24-hour news service now."

USA Today president and publisher Larry Kramer (who stepped down from his position June 29 to join the board of Gannett's new publishing company), BH Media Group president and chief executive officer Terry Kroeger, and Washington Post president and general manager Stephen Hills discussed the positive signals in American newspapers, in particular, their digital transformation.

"We have to be not only a good journalism company, but a good technology company," Hills said. 'We have to experiment with an engineering mindset.

The same theme was reiterated by New York Times Co. chairman and publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. as he and assistant's Alex MacCallum shared the next chapter of the New York Times Innovation Report. Since the report was published, the Times became more data driven in order to understand audience behavior, resulting in the end of Page 1 meetings and striving for a mobile-first publishing schedule.

Other sessions focused on programmatic ad buying, diving into digital business models, successful video strategies, using data and analytics, innovations in advertising, and censorship and intimidation. …

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