On May 21-23, ISET-PI researcher Davit Keshelava participated in the annual European Newspaper Congress in Vienna, Austria. The congress was entitled “Optimistic Journalism Thinkers and Facebook Criticism”, and focused on the main opportunities and challenges of the 'daily newspaper' medium, but the topics were much broader than the title suggested.
The Newspaper Congress was organized by the Oberauer media publisher in cooperation with Norbert Kupper, a newspaper designer. During the congress, 38 speakers from both developed and developing European countries (including Georgia) presented 24 different topics in front of an audience of 500 bloggers and media experts from around the world.
The main message of the congress was that print media outlets would have to make their presentation, sale, and distribution significantly more exclusive, away from the kiosks and to newspaper cafes with an appealing ambiance in which readers would like to spend their time (places in which they can also and read detailed articles more comfortably). In this way, newspapers and magazines would have the potential to act as brands and intellectual status symbols comparable to fashionable accessories. The participants also mentioned the role of 'fake news', the necessary regulation of Facebook, the credibility of the media, its future, and the importance of journalism for societies and democracy. Two sessions of interesting presentations and panel discussions during the annual congress were followed by an award ceremony for the best local, national and regional newspapers, and the most successful editors of the year.