When it comes to the future of news, the News Media Alliance believes there is more than just one. The theme, “Futures of News,” will be front and center at this year’s mediaXchange April 30-May 3 in New Orleans, where more than 700 newspaper professionals are expected to attend.
“The message is that news has a vibrant future,” said NMA president and CEO David Chavern. “We’re optimistic about our solutions, but a solution for one organization may look different to another.”
And that’s where the futures of news come in, and publishers are likely to find at least one based on this year’s program.
The convention room will consist of several areas. Sessions will take place on a main stage and an innovation stage, and both will focus heavily on the business of publishing and growing revenue. Keynote speakers scheduled for the main stage include author and digital marketing expert Mitch Joel; Jonathan Perelman, former VP of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and Google’s former global lead for industry relations; and Paul Taylor, author and former executive vice president, special projects, Pew Research Center. By bringing in speakers outside of the industry, Chavern said he hopes publishers learn new lessons when it comes to digital technology.
The innovation stage will showcase inventive presentations and solutions, including the fourth annual Accelerator Pitch program featuring media startups. In addition, table talks will take place on the show floor. So far, scheduled talks include a wide range of topics, such as podcast revenue, advertising trends, data, and content marketing. Each table conversation won’t go over 60 minutes and will be led by a facilitator. Attendees can float between table talks.
Formerly known as the Newspaper Association of America, the NMA announced their new name last September. “The newspaper industry has grown to be much bigger than what the specific term ‘newspaper’ conveys,” Chavern said at the time. “In a very real sense, we have outgrown the term.”
Not only did the organization go through a rebranding and a strategic realignment Chavern said they also had to rethink mediaXchange from the ground up. This year, he said, the conference’s two biggest goals are to supply information that will make news media companies a profit, and to also produce a high energy show for attendees.
The city of New Orleans is also something attendees can forward to exploring. Chavern said not only is the city centrally located and a wonderful attraction, but it has seen its own set of challenges, but it continues to persevere—something any newspaper company can relate to.
The show’s ultimate goal, according to Chavern, is that each attendee can take away several ideas they can implement at their companies. “mediaXchange is one of the most powerful and most practical events,” he said. “This is where you go to learn about the future of the newspaper business.”
For more information, visit newsmediaalliance.org/events/mediaxchange.