Editors and publishers, education specialists, foundation and government officials will gather in Warsaw, Poland, next month to examine an issue that his been a major challenge for news media and is essential to their future: how to attract young people to news when there is so much competition for their attention.
The Youth Engagement Summit & Workshops, to be held on 2 to 4 December by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in partnership with Gazeta Wyborcza and Metro, will examine successful news media strategies and programme aimed at attracting young people and their parents, from pre-school through young adulthood.
Be it print for kids, digital-first engagement or a mixture of the two, the conference will feature newspapers and news publishers from around the globe that have found ways to attract younger audiences to their publications, without alienating traditional, older audiences.
The Summit will present the winning cases in the annual World Young Reader Prizes and devote half a day to a Youth Engagement "Ideathon" to explore ways to reach young people with targeted journalism, through social media, and with direct connections – as well as finding ways to pay for new initiatives.
"A lot of journalism organizations are looking for better ways to reach and serve young people in their communities. This group is leading some of the most innovative ideas being tried today, and I'm excited to see what they come up with," said Chris K. Sopher, Journalism Program Associate at the Knight Foundation, who will lead the Ideathon.
"More than anything else, we need more experimentation and innovation in journalism, people trying things without being afraid to fail. This group is already doing that with their young reader projects, so I'm looking forward to brainstorming with them," he said.
The conference will also feature an opening session that celebrates freedom with Adam Michnik, political activist and founding editor of Gazeta Wyborcza, and a session celebrating reading with Jan Truszczyński, Director-General of the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Krystyna Szumilas, Minister of Education in Poland, Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture, Poland, and Grzegorz Piechota, director of editorial for Gazeta Wyborcza.
Case studies of World Young Reader Prize winners will also be featured, include The Guardian (The United Kingdom), New York Times (USA), Philippine Daily Inquirer, Tampa Bay Times (USA), A Gazeta (Brazil), New Vision (Uganda), Aftenposten Junior (Norway), De Zeit (Germany), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), The Straits Times (Singapore) and Göteborgs-Posten (Sweden) and, from India, The Hindu, i-next, Malayala Manorama, The Telegraph, The Times of India, and Mathrubhumi.
The Summit will include a reception hosted at the Presidential Palace by Poland President Bronisław Komorowski and First Lady Anna Komorowski, and the inauguration of a special photojournalism exhibit, "25 years of Freedom in Poland".
Other partners include Polskapresse, IWP, the Polish national publishers association; SGL, the local press association; The Jakarta Post Foundation with Chevron, and the Warsaw Convention Bureau