World Newspaper Congress kicks off in Hyderabad

Hyderabad :The 62nd World Newspaper Congress began here Monday with delegates from around the world taking part in three round table discussions on future and challenges facing the media, including from the internet.

The event, being held for the first time in South Asia, is taking place at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) amid tight security.

The 16th World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo also began with the Congress. The four-day event will be formally inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil Tuesday.

The first day of the deliberations saw delegates taking part in round tables on business plan, internet and wining strategies for engaging the young.

The annual free press roundtable was held on ‘what good is a mission without a business?’

The subject of annual digital media roundtable was “Internet- a maturing medium”.

The annual young reader roundtable was held on “Winning strategies for engaging the young – especially in hard times”.

About 900 participants from 87 countries including Who’s Who of the world media have descended on this city for the annual event of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

Leading publishers, CEOs, managing directors, chief editors and senior newspaper executives are attending the event, which will discuss a host of issues including curbs on media coverage of sports events, challenges posed by Google, future of journalism and entrepreneurial journalism.

There will also be a special session on “What we do about Google”.

Executives from various organisations will debate whether to develop closer partnerships with Google and their competitors, launch own search engines and collective news portals, lobby to change or enforce copyright laws online, sue or encourage anti-trust cases.

News publishers will examine and discuss their options and strategies for getting a bigger slice of the internet advertising revenues which are today massively reaped by Google, said the organizers.

David Drummond, senior vice president and chief legal council of Google, will give the search giant’s perspectives. Gavin O’Reilly, president of WAN-IFRA), and the participants will debate with him.

Xavier Vidal-Folch, president World Editors Forum, will present “2009 WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom” to Najam Sethi, editor-in chief of Pakistani newspapers Friday Times and the Daily Times.

The suppliers to the newspaper industry like newsprint suppliers, ink manufacturers, news agencies, content providers, machinery manufacturers, software and technology solution providers, will exhibit their products and services.

At a session on “Shaping the future of the newspaper”, the results of a unique global study will be presented on how publishers are coping with the change.

There will also be sessions on “Restrictions to media coverage of sports events and how to fight them” and “Multimedia strategies in sports newsrooms”.

There will also be a special session of World Editors Forum with South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).

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