Virtual INMA conference morphs for 'new age' needs

INMA has developed a virtual format to replace the World Congress event it was to have held in Paris this month.

With the theme now 'Rethinking news media in the age of coronavirus', the International News Media Association event across nine modules will include 18 hours of programming and feature more than 35 speakers.

The virtual conference - which starts on May 5 with the first module and concludes May 28 - is being billed as "what news publishers need to know now to survive the COVID-19 ripple".

In addition to the livestream event, Congress participants will receive all video recordings of the sessions and all of the presentations. A website with complete Virtual World Congress information has been created and may be found at

The nine subjects for the online conference are:

• Where news media goes next after COVID-19.

• Subscription experiences amid the surge: opportunities in chaos.

• Advertising in crisis: navigation and uplift.

• Smart data in the shadow of the cookiepocalypse.

• Building brand and community: How will you be remembered post-crisis?

• The content to commerce revolution.

• Brainsnacks: quick ideas you can apply immediately.

• Business model innovation and creating new value.

• News media outlook 2021: what to expect next.

INMA executive director and chief executive Earl Wilkinson (pictured) says the "ripple effect" of COVID-19 has created economic strains on the business model of news media companies. "As we re-create the spirit of INMA's World Congress in a premium virtual setting, INMA will focus on what publishers need to know in this new age."

Speakers taking part in the Virtual Congress are those who were to have spoken at the live Congress in Paris this month. Topics have "morphed into a deeper focus on the emerging new normal confronting media companies, he says.

"So much has changed in the past six weeks, and we believe the timely subjects, the world-class speakers, and the timing of this Virtual World Congress will give media executives hope and inspiration to navigate this new environment.

"Journalism-based organisations still have a mission. We still need to operate companies that support that mission."

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