[Editor’s note: The Fix is partnering with IPI World Congress, an important landmark in the media events calendar. You can find the program of the event here. For tickets, both virtual and in-person, follow this link.]

Titled “Journalism Takes Centre Stage”, IPI 2021 World Congress will bring leading journalists and editors from all over the world to Vienna, Austria, on September 15-17. 

Major areas covered include building resilience into media models, resisting misinformation and media capture, creating a product-thinking mindset in newsrooms, and combating online harassment. Here are our 5 favorite upcoming panels.

1. Product thinking 

It is no secret that product plays a huge role for any company nowadays: How do users interact with your digital offering? What features it has? Does it integrate with other products? 

These and more are the questions that publishers need to answer to ensure they continue to satisfy and excite their audiences. 

Moderated by David Tvrdon. Subscription growth and retention specialist, Petit Press;  Author at The Fix

Speakers: Simon Allison, Editor-in-chief, The Continent; Nevşin Mengü, Reporter, producer and TV anchor, Diken, Duvar & Deutsche Welle Turkish; Nigel Mugamu, Founder and Chief Storyteller, 263Chat; Karl Oskar Teien, Director of Product, Schibsted / Aftenposten.

2. Are you listening? How do we keep (and grow) our audiences?

During the pandemic, willingness to pay for content increased and, thus, reader revenues were boosted. Against this background, it needs to be further analyzed what needs to be done for keeping new audiences by understanding their wants and needs. 

Moderated by Roby Alampay, Founder and Chairman, PumaPodcast

Speakers: Supriya Sharma, Executive Editor, Scroll.in; Amanda Barrett, Deputy Managing Editor, The Associated Press. 

3. Media capture in Central Europe: Strategies for independent media

In parallel to media capture spread in Central Europe, levels of press freedom keep decreasing. Given the failure of democratic Europe to stand in the way of increasingly illiberal Central European states, this panel looks into ways of creating counter-movements for protecting independent reporters in CEE and beyond from threats and attacks. 

Moderated by Beata Balogová, Editor-in-chief, SME

Speakers: Paweł Ławiński, Deputy Editor-in-chief, Onet, Márton Gergely, Editor-in-chief, HVG, Marius Dragomir, Director, Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS), CEU Democracy Institute; Boryana Dzhambazova, Journalist, Freelance.

4. Modelling the business under repression

Despite the pressure coming from the government, media businesses have to continue to operate. How is this possible? Speakers from Turkey, Hungary, India, and Nigeria share their experiences on how to stay sustainable in oppressive environments.

Moderated by Christoph Plate, Director Media Programme Sub-saharan Africa, KAS Media Africa

Speakers: Veronika Munk, Founder, Editor-in-chief, Telex; Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher & CEO, Premium Times; Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor, The Wire; Cansu Camlibel, Editor-in-chief, Duvar English.

5. New ways to fund good journalism

What needs to be changed, adapted, transformed to ensure financial support for robust and independent journalism? What are the best monetization models? To which extent can public funding and state ads guarantee editorial independence? 

Panelists will shed light on these questions by bringing up examples from Austria and Central Europe.

Moderated by Katharina Schell, Member of the Editorial Board, APA

Speakers: Stefanie Groiss- Horowitz, General Manager, PULS 4/ PULS 24; Florian Skrabal, Editor-in-chief, DOSSIER; Andy Kaltenbrunner, Managing Director, Medienhaus Wien; Gerold Riedmann, Editor in Chief, Managing Director, Russmedia/Vorarlberger Nachrichten.

Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash