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World’s press gathers in Sweden to celebrate print and digital developments

The 61st World Newspaper Congress and 15th World Editors Forum opened in Sweden June 2 with recognition of Sweden’s superb media example for the rest of the world—top-ranked digital developments combined with a deep love of print.

“In the exploitation of the new opportunities created by the Internet, the Swedish, like their Nordic neighbours, have also proved leaders, whether through their digital news sites, video and web TV, the exploitation of mobile devices or in the convergence of their editorial operations,” said Gavin O’Reilly, President of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), at the opening ceremony attended by a record 1,800 senior newspaper executives from 113 countries, in the presence of Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, foreign ambassadors and other dignitaries.

“There is also a lesson to be learned here in Sweden, however, in the continuing strength of the print newspaper,” he said.

“In all league tables measuring the Internet—whether in terms of audience, advertising market share, broadband penetration—Sweden ranks among the leaders. And yet, consider this: each and every day, in the midst of this highly wired and digitally-educated environment, about 90 per cent of the adult population reads a newspaper in print, in 83 per cent of cases paid for. They don’t have to, it’s not a legal obligation, they choose to, despite the existence of so many alternative channels for getting information and entertainment. “

“It is a question of measure and perspective,” he said. “If WE don’t keep our heads and keep uppermost in our minds the realities and hard facts about the enduring force and impact of our core, print businesses, who will do it for us? Not those with the loudest voice or the most provocative viewpoint who, unfortunately, are those who tend to shape perceptions about our industry. “

The 61st World Newspaper Congress, 15th World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo 2008, the global meetings of the world’s press, run through Wednesday, June 4.

Date posted: June 2, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 404