PANPA to hold Future Forum

THE chief executive of World Association of Newspapers, Timothy Balding, will be a keynote speaker at a special one-day event to chart the future of newspapers to be held by PANPA in Sydney on September 10.

Mr Balding will highlight global trends for newspapers and describe how some publishers are successfully handling the global financial crisis and the structural challenges of digital media.

He will be joined by a line-up of local and international speakers for “Newspapers: The Future Forum – Leadership & Transformation”, which will present ideas and case studies on how our industry will stay relevant to society and continue to deliver profits.

The head of The Newspaper Works, Tony Hale, will provide local case studies on how newspapers continue to perform strongly against competitive media, providing data and qualitative assessments that will strengthen the market position of individual newspapers and the industry as a whole.

The one-day event is a temporary replacement to the annual PANPA two-day conference, and entry will be free of charge to employees of PANPA members. However, preregistration will be required.

“We aim to give delegates some powerful takeaways to strengthen their business,” said PANPA chief executive Mark Hollands.

“The aim is to look forward and chart our future – not continually ponder on reasons for our current challenges.

“We are not the only industry facing significant change. Some pundit commentary would make anyone think we are alone in our challenges. Every industry must continually evaluate and adapt. Newspapers are no different.”

Mr Hollands said key themes would be leadership and transformation. The focus would not fall only on print but include digital innovation.

“Leadership must come from across the organisation,” he said. “This is not a reference to senior management. For newspapers to be successful into the future, new ideas and initiatives need to be heard from every part of an organisation.

“Senior managers need to create a culture in which these ideas can be created and taken forward.

“Transformation is not about moving from print to digital; it is about changing entrenched attitudes and behaviours to increase the empowerment of staff to adapt and drive meaningful change. Modern-day management is not about the CEO telling everyone what to do – it is about creating and sustaining flexibility and adaptability to meet market needs.”

The Future Forum will be held at Sydney’s Masonic Centre on September 10. It is being sponsored by the premium industry newsprint supplier, Norske Skog. The Forum will be followed by the Newspaper of the Year dinner.

“Many of the region’s leading newspapers are already in the middle of preparation for their entry. We think this is going to be the most competitive Newspaper of the Year ever,” Mr Hollands said. “There is massive value in winning an award in terms of demonstrating professional excellence to the market.

“In such competitive and economically challenged times, it is more important than ever to be able to independently demonstrate the quality of your newspaper.”

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