Between October 18 and 21, in Ohrid, BIRN Macedonia will bring together representatives of the media, journalism associations, advertising and social media experts, as well as start-ups, to exchange experiences of best practices, develop cooperation and provide insight into a question that has troubled the global media industry for the past decade: how to achieve sustainability.
The two-and-a-half-day event, which is supported by Kingdom of the Netherlands, and includes panels, case studies and workshops, aims to look at both the opportunities and challenges for the digital media in a hyper-competitive age.
Is there a one-size-fits-all model for the media? What business examples have succeeded and what models have failed? What can we learn from algorithms and news aggregation? How can media improve their content with different platforms and so engage wider audiences?
In the past years, the number of online media has exploded in the Balkans, with new sites emerging almost daily. At the same time, as social media take the lead, professional media are losing the battle to reach audiences.
As a result, most higher quality media content is lost in the noise created by tabloids, propaganda, so-called fake news and copy-paste items, which feed readers with poor content and lack critical thinking, accountability and transparency – in turn increasing distrust in the media.
Digital media in the Balkans have responded poorly to the new challenges of the “post-truth” era, and to the rise of echo chambers and misinformation, sticking to traditional tools instead of innovation.
Successful start-up entrepreneurs will share their personal stories and discuss how to open a start-up company, the likely impact of media start-ups, the potential for development of the media in the interactive digital space, and the potential for mergers of IT and media.
Speakers from the Balkans, but also from The Netherlands and other countries, will share tips and ideas on the strengths and weaknesses of different business models for media.
Among the questions they will address will be: what are the advantages of the subscription model versus membership, what advertisers want and how they identify their audiences – and what chances do “niche” media have in the region?
Click here to see the full agenda for the ‘Digital Media: Quest for Sustainability’ conference.