Transformation, reader revenue, product and tech innovation, and marketing services are key themes for the 88th-annual INMA World Congress of News Media, starting this week in Washington, D.C.

Yet the elephant in the room will be the role of credible journalism in an age where the powerful man occupying the White House two miles away from the INMA World Congress venue aims to discredit fact-based reporting.

The 88th-annual INMA World Congress of News Media kicks off this week with a study tour of Washington, D.C., news media companies.
The 88th-annual INMA World Congress of News Media kicks off this week with a study tour of Washington, D.C., news media companies.

Nearly 500 attendees from 47 countries will soon descend on the booming Wharf region of Southwest Washington, D.C. The week includes a study tour of Washington media leaders Thursday and Friday, May 31-June 1, with seminars on Sunday, June 3, and the Media Conference Monday and Tuesday, June 4-5.

A Digiday reporter recently described the INMA World Congress in Washington with one word: “Big.” 

It is big not only with burgeoning attendance, but an agenda across six days that includes 96 presenters, panelists, and moderators:

  • Media Conference: Famed Washington journalist Bob Woodward headlines the big stage at World Congress with his unique perspective on the bridge from Nixon to Trump and what it means for journalism. An all-star lineup of keynotes and panels, meanwhile, will explore culture, transformation, business model innovation, reader revenue models, mobile and video, marketing services, and what comes next for media. 
  • Study Tour: 50+ media executives will visit Gannett/USA Today, Politico, Atlantic Media, National Geographic, Vox Media, U.S. News & World Report, CQ Roll Call, and the National Press Club (Washington Post). 
  • Smart Data Summit (by Chartbeat): How data analytics can solve everyday business challenges is the focus of this summit, which will take a case study approach to product and tech, using data to inform editorial decisions and audience development, the emergence of bots, the impact on advertising, and machine learning.
  • Brainsnack Seminar (by CCI): 12 lightning-round, to-the-point “brainsnacks” will transport attendees across best practices from nine countries. This will be a fast-paced trek through the United States, Ireland, Colombia, India, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and Austria. 
  • Editor’s Retreat: Five sessions aimed at the many editors and journalists present will explore the fake news phenomenon and then attack the 4 Cs impacting journalism today: confidence, content, commerce, and culture. The retreat will focus mostly on the U.S. market.
  • Print Innovation Workshop: Across six sessions, attendees will roll up their sleeves and immerse themselves into the practicalities of print ranging from print advertising to print editorial to print circulation operations. More importantly, print people get to talk with print people. 
  • Global Media Awards: Nothing elicits excitement among news media executives these days like the Global Media Awards, whose 40 first-place recipients will be unveiled from a talented shortlist in a ceremony Monday evening, June 4. Among these, who will emerge as regional winners and the global “Best in Show?”

While the INMA World Congress brings best practices internationally to the stage in Washington, make no mistake that the fascinating Washington media market will be front and center, sprinkled across all activities. Two companies, in particular, will be highlighted:

  • Gannett/USA Today: Get an update on Gannett’s transformation and culture change, their leadership in the rise of marketing services, how data empowers sales and products for local advertising, and what’s next in print circulation. Study tour participants will get a three-hour immersion of Gannett best practices at its Northern Virginia corporate headquarters.
  • The Washington Post: Beyond Bob Woodward’s insights into politics and journalism, learn how Big Data helps the Post succeed, how the news media company is fighting the fake news challenge, what’s happening in mobile beyond the smartphone, and the smart new digital publication for Millennial women, The Lily.

Meanwhile, INMA World Congress participants will hear from Washington, D.C.-based Politico, Atlantic Media, U.S. News & World Report, Vox Media, CQ Roll Call, National Geographic, Axios, National Public Radio, Pew Research Center, American Press Institute, and American University. 

Facebook and Google will have major presences at the INMA World Congress, with Facebook hosting the opening reception at the Newseum and Google hosting the closing reception at the Hay-Adams Hotel. Beyond that, Facebook and Google delegations will be meeting with Congress delegates and making the connection back to projects that support journalism and news.

INMA will provide ongoing coverage of the World Congress starting Saturday, June 1, with reporting on the study tour. Coverage will continue over the next four days at www.inma.org/wc. Follow real-time coverage on Twitter using #inma18.