Written by Heghine Gyulnazaryan and Oksana Radzikhovska

The world is slowly coming out of lockdown – and so media conferences. The media crowd enjoys coming together to collaborate, chat and have fun, even in an online form. Let’s look at the media events you definitely can’t miss in 2021! 

DW Global Media Forum on Disruption and Innovation 

Where: Bonn, Germany + Online

When: June 14-15, 2021

Fee: Free of charge

Language: English

Focus: Digital solutions in media

‘Disruption and Innovation’ is the main theme this year, with a focus on how innovations can help the global media community address rising challenges. The format will be hybrid: all the sessions will be livestreamed from Deutsche Welle headquarters and be available worldwide, free-of-charge.

The welcome speech will be by none other than German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then, the event will turn to a wide array of interactive sessions, covering topics from artificial intelligence and virtual reality to conspiracy theories and ways to deal with them. Apart from that, media start-ups from around the globe will be pitching their ideas and business models within the Forum.

Membership Puzzle Project Showcase

Where: Online

When: 2-6 August

Fee: Free

Language: English

Focus: Membership models in news media

Membership Puzzle Project and the Media Development Investment Fund are organizing “Your turn: a membership showcase” conference that will be streamed every day from 9 a.m. ET and run until 11 or 11:30 a.m. ET.

The event will include five days of presentations, panel discussions, fireside chats dedicated to best practices of membership models. It will also be the last hurrah for MPP, which has achieved its goals (reader revenue is now mainstream) and will be closing down.

The 2021 Global Investigative Journalism Conference

Where: Online

When: 3-5 November

Fee: TBD

Language: Multiple language translation

Focus: Investigative journalism

The Global Investigative Journalism Conference, originally scheduled to take place in Sydney, Australia, will instead be held online this November 3-5. The co-hosts of the event are the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism

The program features practical panels and workshops on the latest investigative techniques, data analysis, online research, and cross-border collaboration. There are also fellowships available for journalists from developing countries.

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Freelance journalism empowerment conference

Where: Online 

When: 8-10 June 2021

Fee: Free

Language: English

Focus: Freelance journalism, Solutions journalism

‘Freelancers, don’t work alone anymore!’. This year’s freelance journalism conference seeks to empower and connect freelancers from across Europe and beyond.

More than 40 speakers will share tips and strategies to collaborate across borders successfully.

Additionally, there will be master-classes in pitching, storytelling, social media trends, data journalism, solutions journalism and more.

The three-day conference will be livestreamed on Youtube and Zoom from 8th to 10th June. The event is organized by the Freelance Journalism Assembly and supported by the European Journalism Centre.

News Impact Summits 2021

When: June 15th, September 23rd

Where: Online

Fee: Free of charge

Language: English

Focus: Data Journalism, Diversity in media 

News Impact Summits, organized by the European Journalism Centre in partnership with the Google News Initiative, are one-day online events that discuss innovation and the work of newsrooms.

The June 15th event will cover the importance of user interfaces and data gathering technologies in the public understanding of news stories. Additionally, the topic of artificial intelligence and deepfakes vs. trust in media will be covered.

On September 23rd the event will dive into issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the media industry. The event will explore the ways newsrooms can become more diversified and how journalists can represent minority communities better.

Mezhyhirya Fest

Where: Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine

When: 27 – 29 August 2021

Fee: Free

Language: English and Ukrainian

Focus: Investigative Journalism, Digital Tools, Sustainability

Mezhyhirya Fest is an international investigative journalism conference that takes place at ex-president Viktor Yanukovych’s opulent country estate outside Kyiv. The 140 hectare mansion includes a helipad, car collections, zoo and even a pirate ship —  all testament to the corruption of Yanukovych’s government and exposed through the power of investigative journalism.

The three-day festival consists of panels, workshops, and expert discussions. The main topics covered will include audience engagement, storytelling, effective operating models, monetization, data journalism and how new technologies are impacting journalism.

XV South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF)

Where: Belgrade, Serbia + online

When: 27 and 28 October 2021

Fee: Free of charge

Language: English

Focus: All things media

SEEMF is the biggest media conference in South, Central and Eastern Europe, gathering professionals from more than 30 countries! This year the forum will be held in a hybrid format combining online coverage with in-person attendance in hubs. 

The event is organised by SEEMO in cooperation with the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Central European Initiative.

The details of the programme, as well as the speakers list will be announced soon.

Reinventing Media Business Forum

When: 23-24 November 2021

Where: Riga, Latvia

Fee: €200 -300

Language: English

Focus: Media business

Reinventing Media Business is a two-day forum in Riga for media business professionals. For the third year in a row top media managers will meet to share their experiences, discuss innovative trends, media formats and audience engagement strategies. One of the main themes of the event will be the sustainable development of media companies and attracting investment.

Among the 2021 speakers are Richard Furness, managing director of consumer revenues & publishing at The Guardian, Alina Fichter, head of digital format and product development at Deutsche Welle and Michael Kowalski, head of product at Tortoise Media.

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash