Roundup of the Year

We hope you enjoy being an important part of our vibrant community of news publishers, tech entrepreneurs, and innovators around the world. A robust corporate membership base is the salt of our mission in the service of a free, innovative and vibrant press, and I would like to thank you for your contribution, as a WAN-IFRA member and partner.

Our membership services deliver 10 to 100 times the value compared to their expense; especially when compared to other research vendors, and service providers in the branch. We are keen for great ideas, feedback, innovations, new ways of working. We strive to deliver a world-class support every day to our members and partners, and If you have any specific feedback, or if we can do anything for you let us know, I’d love to hear from you.

To date, the WAN-IFRA research and advisory team, supported by our regional managers and consultants, has spent thousands of hours executing deep dives on key themes that matter most to our members. Frequently delving into topics experiencing rapid disruption. Our newsletters and Executive News Service give both the news and the context around critical developments so that members can run their businesses or their portfolios more efficiently, more profitably and more successfully.

A benefit of WAN-IFRA membership is insightful, members-free research. Our frequently released reports, with a record of 17 reports published in 2017, are packed with data, unbiased insight and analysis that help members view their chosen subject area in new ways. Our members also love that we provide market data with the World Press Trends database so that they can create their own charts.

Overall, we received an overwhelming number of positive comments, and it seems our members truly enjoyed the quality and insightful mix of this year's programme. I hope you enjoyed as well your participation in our programme, and I sincerely hope we will be able to invite you again in the future to contribute to our incoming meetings in a similar fashion. This year, more than 9,000 individual media executives from 1,300 companies coming from more than 100 countries participated in our programmes, including a revamped Expo. That's a great network of media professionals around the world, and the result of the team's hard work is best illustrated in this Activity Report 2017. When I look back, I'm always fascinated by the result of this amazing teamwork that goes well beyond our programme of events, and I can only encourage you to have a look at these updates from across our global platforms.


We’re excited to reveal more about the agenda for the year to come. I’m even more excited about what we’ll achieve together in 2018. This will be a very special year for us as we will celebrate 70 years of WAN-IFRA, culminating with the World News Media Congress, the World Editors Forum, and the Women in News Summit to be held in Cascais, Lisbon, on June 6-8. The IFRA and Digital Content Expo will be another landmark in 2018, with new matchmaking capacities, and 5,000 visits in 2017, the WAN-IFRA marketplace is the not to be missed and leading trade fair of the news industry. Next, year, I hope you will continue to enjoy peer-to-peer sharing and real-time problem solving facilitated by WAN-IFRA, and have your questions answered by our team in Frankfurt, Paris, Singapore, Chennai, Toronto, and Mexico.

In 2018, the WAN-IFRA team will focus on five core areas: CONTENT (artificial intelligence in newsrooms, trust), REVENUE (pricing premium beating the digital ad challenge, digital subscribers, social platform monetisation), SUSTAINABILITY OF PRINT, DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION (innovation culture, technology transfer, R&D, smart data user-centric strategies, publisher alliances, diversity), and MEDIA FREEDOM with a dual approach to address political and structural constraints through advocacy, and to strengthen the capacity and networks of the media with our media development programmes.

In 2018, I hope you will enjoy even more peer-to-peer sharing and real-time problem solving, and have your questions answered by our Advisory team, Regional Managers, or fellow members as they arise.

The issues affecting media are crucial for wider society given how often media is described as the watchdog of broader freedoms, providing transparency and accountability, a platform for critical thinking and debate between opposing views, and informing active citizens in the process of shaping their country. This is the basic foundation of our mission to serve our members, protect the rights of journalists to operate free media and provide our members with professional services to help their business prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in societies.

I’m here to assist you in this exchange, discuss membership benefits or answer any other questions you may have. Feel free to email or call me. We look forward to hearing from you and please don’t hesitate to let us know what we can do to help, improve our services, and meet your expectations.

Yours sincerely,

Vincent Peyrègne CEO WAN-IFRA



WAN-IFRA believes that increasing media freedom directly strengthens democracy, transparency and accountability. WAN-IFRA aims to increase media freedom by: strengthening business and editorial competencies of media, increasing diversity of leadership and voices within media, improving environmental conditions for media freedom WAN-IFRA applies a dual approach to supporting media freedom: It applies advocacy to address organisational, political and structural constraints to media freedom, and applies development to strengthen the capacity and networks of the media

Advocacy : WAN-IFRA and WEF issued 20 protest statements this year on issues of concern to media partners in Bahrain, the US, Zambia, Turkey, Ecuador, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mexico, Uganda, Malta, Poland, India and the UK. Our protest campaign targeting the Trump Administration drew widespread international solidarity, with 40+ senior media executives signing on to a joint letter of concern regarding the president’s accusations of ‘fake news’, and media being “an enemy of the American people”. Over 20 media organisations published an editorial penned by WAN-IFRA’s 2017 Golden Pen of Freedom laureate, Turkish editor Can Dündar, to denounce the on-going media repression ahead of a scheduled trial of Cumhuriyet staff accused of undermining the state.

16 Media Freedom Committees have been launched in 14 countries globally

Golden Pen of Freedom 2017 WAN-IFRA consolidated nearly a decade of advocacy around the deteriorating situation for a free press in Turkey with the award of the Golden Pen of Freedom to Turkish journalist and former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dündar. “Journalists need courage because there is a cloud of fear hanging over them - fear is everywhere, and it is so powerful,” Mr Dündar said in delivering a powerful speech to the media executives gathered in Durban for WAN-IFRA’s Newsmedia Congress.

Impunity WAN-IFRA contributed to the global call to end impunity for crimes against journalists, marking the 2nd November UN-designated international day with an editorial by WEF President Dave Callaway and various resources and appeals for media to engage in holding states to account for pursuing cases against those who attack or kill journalists worldwide.

Media Development: €1.950.000 euros have been raised in 2017 to support WAN-IFRA’s media freedom projects around the world. Corporate membership support by WAN-IFRA members is key to the success and durability of our programmes. 600 individual media professionals in 24 countries mentored and trained by 51 coaches and regional directors 60 media partners in 12 countries engaging with WAN-IFRA to increase leadership and voices of women in news. 161 Eurasian media outlets receive direct support by WAN-IFRA and partner. The South East Asian media support continues with Norwegian-led onsite mentoring (Sept 2017-June 2018)

Gender diversity in News First Women in News Summit in Association with World News Media Congress has been launched, exceeding capacity with 200 attendees in Durban June 2017.


WAN-IFRA Services was established in 2014 with the mission to be the Knowledge Hub for the news media industry and leverage that knowledge to provide professional services to WAN-IFRA members. 2017 was both an exciting and challenging time as well. All WAN-IFRA projects had the twin objectives of creating value for members and simultaneously making a positive financial contribution to the organization.

The Knowledge Hub is a strategic framework to organize and collaborate across departments, while focusing on the needs of our members. We short list the most important topics under the four pillars – transformation, content, revenue and print. The short list is created through in-depth discussions with various forums, experts and members. The team defines a set of actions for each topic, such as creation of a report, a microsite with interviews with experts, case studies, training modules on the topic, personal advisory services, forming expert working groups and sessions at various conferences around the world.

Market Reports - Business and Technology Insights In 2017, WAN-IFRA published 17 research reports. With 4,500 downloads of the various reports during the year he reports on “World Press Trends”, “Making Money with Facebook” and the series on “Smart Data” were particularly well received. Two print related reports and a 279-page guide on optimized paper handling were produced with the support of the World Printers Forum community. This record year has been exceptionally well received by WAN-IFRA members. In 2017, we have experienced a strong increase in numbers of reports downloaded by members over the year. 2017 has been a record year, with a 40% increase YoY, since we started tracking in 2013.

The newsletters continue to deliver attractive and relevant content to WAN-IFRA members, with higher opening and viewing rates compared to industry averages.

Reporting on Media Labs is a collaboration between WAN-IFRA and the Media Innovation Studio at UCLan, Ubilab at PUCRS university in Brazil, Norway’s NxtMedia innovation cluster and Stibo Accelerator based in Denmark. The project is mapping the ecosystem of innovation labs, clusters worldwide. The mapping includes detailed information about the labs’ structures, methods, tools, and outcomes. 35 case studies are already available online on

Conferences 2017 saw the launch of Digital Media North America conference in Oct in New York. This completes the portfolio of digital media conference that we do in Asia, India, Europe, Africa and Latin America. These events are fast becoming the references events in the respective regions and helps us to attract the new digital media executives who didn’t have prior engagement with WAN-IFRA. The Digital Media LatAM held in Buenos Aires and Digital Media Europe in Copenhagen, set new records for attendance with 712 and 300 participants respectively.

World Expo IFRA/DCX A total of more than 4,900 visits (25% more than last year) were made to the event from 10 to 12 October. With more than 100 speakers on four stages and the array of suppliers on hand – from startups to established players across the multimedia spectrum – visitors had a plethora of opportunities to engage and network with the industry’s leading innovators. In 2017, WAN-IFRA entered into a joint venture agreement with Børding Messe, based in Mannheim (Germany) to organize and manage the former World Publishing Expo. The strategic decision of creating a specific, Digital Content Expo, to cater to the digital publishing marketplace was implemented this year. The print part of Expo was renamed IFRA Expo. The two expo’s were run simultaneously in parallel halls. WAN-IFRA keeps control of the content of the two conferences, Print World and Digital World at the Expo. In 2017, Influential historical exhibitors returned to the show.

Training and Education The Media Management Accelerator, WAN-IFRA’s new e-learning platform was officially launched in June 2017. The certification program offers an immersive and self-paced learning experience. To date, approximatively 3500 users are already registered, and 8 media corporations subscribed to a corporate service. WAN-IFRA believes that this initiative will be a game changer on how high-quality skills development programs are delivered on a cost-effective basis to news media companies across the globe.

International Awards In 2017, WAN-IFRA’s Digital Media Awards became truly global with the introduction of the North American Awards. This awards program attracted 765 entries, a 70% increase y-o-y, including a record-breaking award participation doming from Latin America - with 111 projects (up from 70 last year). The newly introduced awards management software will make the submission and evaluation process more efficient. From among the winners of the regional awards, the worldwide winners were selected and celebrated at the Expo in Berlin

The ICQC competition held every second year encourages high quality printing and to date has attracted 125 entries, an indication that print quality and standardization is still a high priority for many of our members. Asian Media Awards in its 16th year, continues to be the most prestigious recognition of excellence in the region. 410 entries competed in the seven categories.

Advisory Services WAN-IFRA has created a panel of senior news media experts to assist and guide news media companies in their transformation process. Integrated in WAN-IFRA’s Global Advisory team led by Nick Tjaardstra, WAN-IFRA’s experts have particularly deep knowledge and experience in reader revenue and digital subscriptions, branded content, executive coaching and newsroom efficiency.

Executive Programmes eRev is an exclusive, invitation-only international network of top publishers who meet twice a year to gain insights and share experiences on digital revenue strategy. The meetings include visits to key market players, moderated discussions, workshops and exchange of best practices. In 2017, the group met in Brussels, Antwerp, Frankfurt and San Francisco for highly practical expert-led discussions on optimising subscription revenue, optimising paid products and monetising Facebook. For 2018, the group agreed to focus completely on reader revenue topics - i.e. every aspect in driving new digital subscriptions - from audience segmentation and pricing, to FB subscriptions and content that converts. Ten companies currently participate and this is expected to grow in the next few months.

Chief Digital Officers Forum With the accelerating move to digital, WAN-IFRA is taking proactive steps to engage the new breed of digital executives joining the media industry. The association launched a specific CDO Forum for this community in APAC region.

Social Platforms, Facebook An in-depth debate around the role of social media in democracy has become very important. In 2017, WAN-IFRA and the World Editors Forum established a specialist group to tap our members experience with platforms and get a measure of their relations with the tech giants. We want to understand what’s working and what’s not - and what you, as an industry expert think could be done. More than 150 media executives from 50 countries have already joined us and are participating in this vital group. It will engage in an in-depth debate about the role of Facebook in modern democracy and collect and share information and opinion from key media players around this subject.

Nationals Club The Nationals Club, a high-level group of 15 European CEOs formed by WAN-IFRA more than 15 years ago, meets on regular basis to share strategic insights about their operations. In 2017, the Nationals Club conducted a strategic benchmark to measure the size and impact of its members operations in data management.


WAN-IFRA’s Global Alliance for Media Innovation joined the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research framework engaging WAN-IFRA on several projects, programming roundtables, sessions, workshops and masterclasses, putting topics like immersive storytelling, wearable technology or data personalization and research in these field at the forefront of discussions within the Publishing world.

In 2017, WAN-IFRA started the INJECT project which is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 funding framework for Research and Innovation and includes 14 European partners (from media, academia, startups or tech). INJECT is a 1M € over 18 Months project which aims to develop a tool to help improve the creativity and productivity of journalists in the digital world.

A second Horizon 2020-funded project, Content Personalisation Network (CPN), is building an open platform with pluggable services. It’s intended that the platform will allow both large and small news media companies to work towards a user-centric enhanced personal news offer. WAN-IFRA is working alongside RCS Media Group in Italy, VRT in Belgium, Deutsche Welle in Germany, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica SPA, Athens Technology Centre, IMEC, DIAS Media Group, LiveTech, Digital Catapult in London. The proposed CPN open platform and services will be validated through pilot activities to be carried out with a select group of news media organisations. The end result of which will be to integrate the platform with the existing operational infrastructure.


In April, WAN-IFRA published an overview of EU VAT rates applied to news media, both on print and in digital. In June, a second report, Supporting the Media Report, was published only for members. The focus of the research was on the different ways the news media is supported through public aid the world over. We covered 44 countries and hope to be enabled to make this a yearly report.

In July, after the European Commission fined Google 2,42 billion euros for abuse of its dominant position in comparison shopping services, we provided our members with a briefing on Google’s antitrust troubles and how they are spreading around the world. The 17 pages paper included an exhaustive summary of the seven-year EU probe, an analysis of the position of news media publishers with regard to the European case in particular, and Google and antitrust in general, and an overview of the antitrust probes in Google’s business practices the world over.

The department’s website was enriched with a Resource Center, where WAN-IFRA collects the articles that represent real tools, for the reader who wants to get up to speed in the fastest and most efficient of ways in our core topics

Throughout the year we performed a daily monitoring of media policy news, with regular publication of updates and analysis on our blog. Our content steadily scored very flattering engagement numbers, with articles often in the list of the five most read in the WAN-IFRA blogs rating.

The Media Policy Briefing newsletter was sent monthly and its open rate is consistent at 40 %, unique views stable at 3,000.


PRESIDENCY - During the 69th annual congress in Durban, South Africa, Michael Golden, Vice Chairman of the Board of New York Times, was elected President of WAN-IFRA. Michael Golden succeeds Tomas Brunegard, who was elected President of WAN-IFRA in 2013. Together with Paul Verwilt (Mediahuis, Belgium), who was elected new Treasurer of the organisation at the same meeting, David Callaway (The Street, USA) and Kevin Beatty (Daily Mail Group), they will form the new Presidency of WAN-IFRA for the two coming years.

BOARD - Sixteen executives from leading news media companies were also elected to new terms on the Board of WAN-IFRA: Gunnar Siiner (representing EALL - Eesti Ajalehtede Liit, the Estonian Publishers Association), Sophie Gourmelen, (Publisher at le Parisien – Aujourd’hui en France, representing the French Regional Press Association UPREG), Nicolas Corneau, then Deputy General Manager Centre France La Montagne), Edith Dankwa ( representing PRINPAG, the Independent Publishers Association in Ghana), Tove Nedreberg (CEO Adresseavisen, Representing MBL, the Norwegian Media Businesses' Association), Cristina Soares COO Member of the Board Publico, representing APImprensa in Portugal), Patrick Daniel (deputy chief executive officer, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), representing WAN-IFRA Regional Committee for Asia Pacific), Peter Mertus, CEO of News and Media Holding representing the Slovak Press Association, Ishmet Davidson (Director Print Media Media24, South Africa, Member of the WAN-IFRA Regional Committee for Africa), Sergey Okhrimenko (Segodnya Multimedia - Representing UAPP, the Ukrainian Association of Press Publishers), and Rick Stunt (Group Paper Director Dmg::media, United Kingdom, representing WAN-IFRA’s World Printers Forum). A full list of incoming and outgoing WAN-IFRA Board members can be downloaded at the following link

WORLD EDITORS FORUM – David Callaway succeeds Marcelo Rech, Vice President of Journalism, RBS Group, Brazil. Helje Solberg, Executive Editor and CEO of VGTV, Norway, was named as the new Vice President of WEF. Incoming new WEF Board members include: Joanne Lipman, Editor in Chief, USA Today, USA, Ritu Kapur, CEO of, India, Stephen Rae, Editor in Chief, Independent News and Media, Ireland, Martha Ramos, Editorial Director, OEM, Mexico, Warren Fernandez, Editor in Chief, SPH, Singapore

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – 5 Executive Committee members were elected or re-elected for a 2-year term: David Callaway (President WEF), Patrick Daniel (Chairman APAC Committee), Saleh Alhumaidan (Chairman Middle East Committee), Rick Stunt (Chairman World Printers Forum), Gerald Grünberger (Chairman Association Directors Committee)

STRATEGIC PLAN FOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION - The Board passed unanimously a motion supporting the objectives and specific targets presented in the Wan-Ifra Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion. This is a significant step and meaningful development in our campaign for increased diversity and gender balance in the industry and we hope to receive members input about specific targets set in the document presented in New York, in particular with our objective to reach a 50% women's representation in the programme of the incoming 70th World News Media Congress and 25th World Editors Forum. Specifically, and in the short-term, the elections at the Executive Committee will be suspended until June 2018. The objective is to identify and elect 50% women among the 10 open mandates to be renewed. We aim at a similar gender balance in the election of the 16 seats reaching their term at the Board level in June 2018. More details about the strategic paper, short and mid-term action plan can be found in our Activity Report.