Future of Media Event Gives Insight into Digital-First Strategies, Start-Up Collaboration and Paywalls

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Digital Journal media event attracts leaders, executives from around the world

Future of Media panel on stage April 6 at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. From left to right: David Silverberg (Digital Journal), Jamie Angus (BBC), Jon Taylor (Bell Media), Chris Boutet (National Post), Kathy Vey (OpenFile) and Mathew Ingram (GigaOM).

“People continue to tell us how much they appreciate the fresh, new perspective at our Future of Media events,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, Inc.

It was an evening filled with intriguing debate, thoughtful predictions and meaty conversation on challenges facing media today. Executives and editors from the BBC, Bell Media, the National Post, OpenFile and GigaOm gathered at Digital Journal’s recent Future of Media event to talk about the media’s future.

The event took place April 6 at The Drake Hotel in Toronto. The panel included: Jamie Angus, acting head of news at BBC World News; Jon Taylor, senior director of content for Bell Media Digital; Chris Boutet, senior producer for digital media at the National Post; Mathew Ingram, a senior writer at GigaOM; and Kathy Vey, editor-in-chief of OpenFile. The discussion was moderated by David Silverberg, managing editor of Digital Journal.

“People continue to tell us how much they appreciate the fresh, new perspective at our Future of Media events,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, Inc. “Our goal is to create an informative and entertaining discussion around media involving the leaders who continue to shape and define the industry. We found our April event to be particularly thought-provoking, and attendees are telling us it offered important predictions on upcoming media trends.”

Overall, the panel agreed media’s future may not be as bleak as negative headlines suggest, and innovation continues push journalism in an optimistic direction. Speakers also raised points on how media is adapting to the digital era.

Jamie Angus, acting head of news at BBC World News, predicted social media activity on the ground in hot spots such as Egypt will continue to weave into the news cycle at major outlets such as the BBC. But he wondered how challenging it will be in the future to verify news via social media tools such as Twitter.

Chris Boutet, senior producer for digital media at the National Post, explained the importance of his news outlet going “digital first,” meaning the newsroom focus is trained on the digital product first and the print product last.

Jon Taylor, senior director of content for Bell Media Digital, spoke about the rise of mobile tech in journalism and what he foresees as a platform convergence between television, online and smartphones.

Kathy Vey, editor-in-chief of collaborative news outlet OpenFile, discussed the burgeoning trends of news start-ups in Canada and the U.S., and she related her experience of finding local stories other news outlets may have ignored.

Mathew Ingram, a senior writer at GigaOM, argued with BBC’s Angus over paywalls sprouting up on sites such as Times of London and the New York Times, saying such a barrier for readers creates “a very expensive newsletter.” Angus agreed paywalls may not be popular, but said media organizations who incorporate one may be ahead of their time, and revenue from paywalls may allow media outlets invest more in the digital media space.

A Q&A session included questions on augmented reality, mobile app development and citizen journalism.
Full video coverage will be available free on the Future of Media website.

Future of Media discussions have become must-see events featuring some of the most influential leaders in media. Future of Media events are free to the public thanks to the generous support of sponsors. The following organizations were sponsors of the April 2011 Future of Media event:

Platinum sponsor:

  •     Queensway Audi, Toronto's leading Audi dealer

Gold sponsors:

  •     CNW Group, Canada's leading newswire provider
  •     Rogers Communications, one of Canada's leading providers of wireless, cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services
  •     Suite 66, Canada's largest independent online advertising sales organization
  •     Polar Mobile, a global leader in mobile content solutions
  •     Digital Journal, a digital media news network and leader in social news

Silver Sponsor:

  •     McLuhan100, an organization celebrating the centenary of Marshall McLuhan under themes of Then, Now and Next.

For more info on Future of Media events, check out the website.

About Digital Journal

Digital Journal is a global digital media company and online news outlet read by millions of people on Web and mobile. Headquartered in Toronto, Digital Journal covers breaking news from around the world. The company is a recognized pioneer and leader in social news with more than 30,000 members in 200 countries around the world. Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from their digital media properties. Visit http://www.digitaljournal.com for more info.

About Future of Media events
Future of Media events are organized and hosted by Digital Journal. They are held twice each year, in April and September, to bring together media executives, entrepreneurs, developers and journalists to discuss the changes in the media landscape and what emerging trends mean for the future. As the only free event of its kind, Future of Media events are widely attended by the who's who in media and business. Visit http://www.futureofmediaevents.com for more info.

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Chris Hogg
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