International confab explores newspaper trends

A panel focusing on ethics and quality journalism in the wake of the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal is among the offerings at the World Editors Forum, which takes place Oct. 12-15 in Vienna.

The growing importance of such social media as Facebook and Twitter for newspapers will also be front and center at the conference, which runs concurrently to the World Newspaper Congress.

It will focus on how new tools of social media are helping editors build communities around their newspapers and becoming vital for crowdsourcing, gathering readers’ photos, organizing community events and providing a variety of ways to interact with readers online.

The WEF session on building communities will feature Jim Brady, head of Project Thunderdome, the U.S.-based Journal Register Co.’s initiative to engage audiences and create content across all platforms; Matthew Eltringham, editor of the BBC College of Journalism website; Anette Novak, editor-in-chief of Norran in Sweden, as well as other speakers still to be announced.

Additional hot topics include the future of whistleblowing sites, featuring panelists Daniel Domscheit-Berg, founder of OpenLeaks, and Mathias Mueller von Blumencron, editor-in-chief of Germany’s Der Spiegel; paywalls, from the newsroom perspective; developing successful tablet applications; and a look at what content newspapers should focus on to survive and thrive in the modern age.

More than 1,200 newspaper execs are expected at the annual global summit meetings of the world’s press. The forum and congress are organized by the World Assn. of Newspapers and News Publishers and hosted by the Austrian Newspaper Assn.

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