The annual annual congress and forum of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and the World Editors Forum (WEF), which was postponed due to the global financial crisis, will now be held in Hyderabad from November 30 to December 3, 2009. The forum was earlier slated to be held from March 22-25, 2009.
Informing exchange4media about the new dates, Bombay Samachar’s Hormusji Cama, who is also the President of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), said, “Our preparations are well under way. Since we have been working with a March deadline, much of the work was already in place, and now our event management company is all geared for the November 30 date.”
Cama asserted, “This would be the largest newspaper industry event that India has seen in recent times, and it would be a great learning and networking experience for the entire industry. We have got some extension on roping in the sponsors for the event as well now and are in the process of closing that soon too.”
Commenting on the reasons for postponing WAN till November-end, Pratap G Pawar, Managing Director and Managing Editor, Sakaal Papers, and INS representative on WAN, said, “We have taken a conscious decision to postpone WAN as the kind of response that we are getting at this point is time was not great. All the participants are keen to visit India for WAN and are not willing to miss this opportunity, but because of the sudden meltdown, people are reluctant to spend.”
“We had all our preparations in place for March, but are willing to wait till December as the regulars on WAN do not want to waste their visit to India. Also, we do not want to build any unnecessary pressures on people,” he added.
The conference, which has previously been held in Gothenberg, Sweden, Cape Town and Moscow, is hosted jointly with a local newspaper publishers association – this year it is the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) – which usually takes on a large part of the fund raising and sponsorship requirements.
The conference that usually attracts nearly 1,500 delegates, had reported just 227 confirmed delegates for the Hyderabad congress till January-end, as per media reports.
Gavin O’Reilly, COO, Independent News & Media, is the President of WAN. Conference delegates include Mathias Dopfner, Chief Executive and Chairman of Axel Springer; Olivier Fleurot, Executive Chairman of Publicis Worldwide; Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of Guardian News & Media; Tim Brooks, Managing Director, GNM; and Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the India Today Group.
The meltdown takes a toll on WAN/WEF, annual forum in Hyderabad postponed