Australia's NPA Future Forum bids for 500 delegates with top speakers

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The list of speakers is mounting for this year’s Australian Newspaper Publishers’ Association (PANPA) Future Forum in Sydney on August 26. Among keynote speakers will be Earl Wilkinson, executive director of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA). With a global reputation for spotting trends in newspaper publishing, Wilkinson has a truly global view of newspaper publishing.

Among the other speakers will be Lee Silverman – of IBM and formerly Quark distributor Modulo Systems, Cybergraphic (now part of Atex) and Australia’s PMP Communications – who was squeezed out of last year’s programme. Silverman will present his company’s global media trends report, highlighting the projected future course of newspapers and other traditional media in the digital age.

Julian Disney, the newly-appointed chair of Australia’s Press Council, will also be among the top speakers.

Association chief executive Mark Hollands says the NPA is keen to emphasise the day-to-day challenge of living up to the promise of being a media you can trust: “Trust takes years to build and seconds to lose.

“In this period of fundamental transition for newspaper publishers, I believe Mr Disney’s contribution will be important, insightful and inspiring for everyone, regardless of their circulation or geography.”

Hollands says Wilkinson will “open our eyes” to how publishers and editors around the world were meeting new business challenges: “This is the perfect moment for him to address our industry.

“He has deep knowledge of technical and strategic developments coming out of America – he has insight into how publishers are viewing the move to paid content online, and the potential adoption of technologies such as tablet computing.”

The forum will be held for a second year at the Sydney Masonic Centre in the heart of Sydney, with the awards dinner on the city foreshore in Darling Harbour.

Hollands says this is an important community occasion, “and while we continue to work on creating a great plenary session, we will be hold specialist streams for print and production and, possibly, new digital technologies.”

Entry for the 2010 Future Forum will again be free to members of the association: “Last year’s event attracted more than 400 senior executives; and we hope to push through the 500 barrier this year.”
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