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World press descend upon Cape Town

An impressive 1600 delegates from no less than 105 countries descend upon the Mother City later this week for the African continent's inaugural hosting of the World Association of Newspapers Congress and World Editors Forum. This global meeting of the world's press, taking place between Sunday 3 and Wednesday 6 June 2007, has been noted by WAN spokesperson Larry Kilman as the second largest in WAN history after last year's Moscow-hosted congress.
The 60th annual WAN events are organised by WAN and hosted by the Newspaper Association of South Africa (NASA). Delegates comprise publishers, chief editors, CEOs, managing directors, and other senior newspaper executives.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, represents 18 000 newspapers. Its membership includes 76 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.

As host country, South Africa, where media regained their freedom in recent history, this year celebrates 150 years of newspaper journalism.

Shaping the future of the newspaper

Shaping the Future of the Newspaper, the leading WAN research project, will celebrate its 10th year of bringing the best ideas, innovations, solutions and analysis of media strategies to the world's newspapers. To mark this last anniversary, this year's WAN Congress takes ‘Shaping the Future of the Newspaper' as its overall theme, reflecting the extraordinary changes underway as the press positions itself to remain the most influential and important media in the information landscape.

As is the case each year, the congress will provide a unique panorama of trends and innovations in newspapers worldwide – and an unmatched opportunity to meet and network with colleagues in the press business from every culture, region and major market.

The formal opening ceremony on Monday 4 June, sponsored by the Sunday Times, promises to be one of the highlights. With President Mbeki invited to officially open the congress, guests will enjoy a magnificent journey into the soul of Africa and its many cultures.

Key speakers

Key speakers include:
  • Michael E Raynor, author and consultant, Deloitte Consulting, US – The Strategy Paradox (a framework for strategic action)
  • Stephen T Gray, MD ‘Newspaper Next', American Press Institute, US – Newspaper Next: The Transformation Project (a collaborative effort to develop practical, market-tested tools and processes for achieving long-term industry survival and growth through innovation)
  • Jonathan Landman, deputy managing editor, The New York Times, US – A new Newsroom for a new New York Times
Representing South Africa's dynamic industries, the list of sponsors is enviable. Remgro, Montblanc, Venfin, Sunday Times, Mondi Shanduka Newsprint, and Mondi will be making the social events happen, while the publishing houses Independent Newspapers, Media 24, Caxton, Johncom, and Mail & Guardian are making the congress happen. Telkom is hosting an Internet café, while both Absa and the 2010 local organising committee are each bringing 30 editors from Africa to participate in the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum, as well as The African Editor's Forum Council meeting taking place on Thursday, 7 June.

With partners Government Communication and Information Services (GCIS), the International Marketing Council of South Africa, the City of Cape Town Mayoral Office, Cape Town Routes Unlimited, Medi-Clinic, Agility Fairs & Events, plus sponsors such as Amarula, Prins & Prins,, Revlon, and MAN Roland, the entire event is destined to be the most memorable in the 60-year history of the Congress. Plus of course, with wine being so much a part of our lives, Distell and Nederburg are playing a hefty role.

Comments NASA president Trevor Ncube, “It shows the commitment and pride in our country as public and private sectors come together to showcase South Africa.”
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