Friday, June 15, 2007

After the 14th World Editors Forum

Well, it's over. The 14th World Editors Forum and 60th World Association of Newspapers Congress wrapped up in Cape Town with the words, 'See you in Goteborg!'; Sweden's second city and host to the next event.

And perhaps we'll have to wait till then to see the real impact of the four days of presentations (including mine), discussions and deal-making, which organisers say drew 'some 1600' delegates to the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Some of the key points for me were:

- While most editors now acknowledge the need to take advantage of opportunities that new media channels offer, many are still hoping that they can do that without re-engineering their operations.

- Everyone's grappling with how to make money. Actually, most are trying to figure out how to make as much (or more) money doing what we've always done, just more of it. Of course, bottom line is this: we can't. We either have to change or expand what we do, or change our expectations of the rewards.

- Mainstream media companies used to the push model are grappling with the search-find-share paradigm on the Web, and the particular power of search engines (read: Google).

- Mobile media is mostly seen as channel to push more content, while mobile devices are being used as reporting tools. There's still very little discussion about how mobile technologies can be used to engage in conversation with communities. By that I mean how to connect individuals - not simply how to push content from corporates to audiences or even how corporates can get content from individuals.

- The Declaration of Table Mountain is a reminder for that multimedia doesn't necessary mean a a free press.

On to Gotenborg?

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