The Media Forum 2016 in Prague closed after two days of insightful, practical and sometimes passionate panels, keynotes and workshops on some of the critical challenges facing independent media worldwide.
The final day of the Media Forum kicked off with first-hand testimony of how to transform an independent newspaper into a diversified media group in a country going through a profound transition. Among the lessons were create several revenue sources to protect the newspaper from market trends and to plan for succession from the start.
A panel on practicing journalism in difficult circumstances exchanged experiences of living and working under pressure. From violence in countries like Somalia and El Salvador, through the pressure of powerful individuals exerting pressure in Nepal to the shadow of war in Ukraine, journalists and media owners do what they do because they believe in their mission, not because they want to be martyrs.
Other sessions focused on the business-side of media, including general sessions on online video – what forms to choose, and how to build audiences and tap into (still low) revenues – and native advertising, and workshops on specific aspects of running digital, broadcast and print operations.
As much of the media business continues to search for the next business model, the Media Forum helped identify opportunities that offer hope for the future and connected exceptional news leaders separated by geography but united by mission.